Lloyd Jackson, as printed in the ANZ Bloodstock News on November 30, 2021
Between last Thursday and Saturday, 22 stakes races were scheduled to be run in Australasia.
Weather intervened in Queensland reducing the count to 20 and what a mixed bag they were.
On Saturday, New Zealand was represented by two stakes winners at Caulfield and one at Rosehill. However, of the three stakes run at home, two of the three winners are by Australian-based sires All Too Hard (Casino Prince) and Lonhro (Octagonal).
The latter, Pareanui Bay (Lonhro) was, however, foaled in New Zealand and bred by Trelawney Stud whose train shows no sign of slowing. Their green with red sleeves silks have been front and centre of racing, not only around the North Island of New Zealand but also in Melbourne, courtesy of back-to-back stakes by their top class mare Zayydani (Savabeel).
When Trelawney is not adding to the coffers with stakes winners, they also chime in with a healthy sale. Pareanui Bay's younger half-brother by Savabeel (Zabeel) fetched a most worthwhile $350,000 when purchased by Waikato Bloodstock's Bryce Tankard at the recent virtual NZB Ready to Run Sale.
Remaining unbeaten after three starts, Pareanui Bay was a warm favourite for the Listed feature but the two fillies, Flash Mary (El Roca) and La Crique (Vadamos), not only made the finish interesting, but both also displayed genuine fighting qualities.
Third placed La Crique led the field into the long Te Aroha straight and could have been
excused for weakening. She never lay down, was still fighting with everything she had at the finish and is reminiscent of Showoroses (Showcasing) and that mare's never-give-in qualities.
Flash Mary's challenge seemed to stall half way down the straight and she looked beaten at the 100 metres but at the line was taking ground off the winner in a really tough comeback for second.
The winner did what he had to do but proving that horses are not machines, his performance was nowhere near as easy as his previous start when taking out the James & Annie Sarten Memorial (Gr 2, 1400m) at Te Rapa on Labour weekend.
Winning trainer Tony Pike said: "He is the type of horse that won't generally win races by big margins but he is also the sort that always seems to have something in reserve when you really need it.
“He did the job we expected today, although each day gets a little bit harder as he is now expected to win. He is still green, with plenty of learning to do.”
Pike is having a rethink regarding the three-year-old's future, perhaps wondering if the New Zealand Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) is the right target, not sure if he is a true Derby horse.
One unknown was overcome in Saturday's performance, that being his first run right-handed.
"That's another lesson that will be good for him in the long term," said the trainer. “There is a lot of water to go under the bridge, but a race like the Rosehill Guineas (Gr 1, 2000m) in Sydney during the autumn is a possibility as is the Doncaster Mile (Gr 1, 1600m)."
For Brent and Cherry Taylor, the win merely enhances the quality of their band of broodmares.
They appear to have perfected breeding and racing as a combo. It is one thing to breed and sell, leaving others to add the racing element. In their case, they are succeeding at both to improve the quality of the band.
Recent results are undeniable. Group wins by their mares Two Illicit (Jimmy Choux), Cheaperthandivorce (Savabeel) and Zayydani (Savabeel), all within the last few weeks, provide a wonderful foundation for the stud's ultimate goal of breeding high-class thoroughbreds.
Maintaining that approach, Pareanui Bay's dam, Okahu Bay (Flying Spur) is a Group 3 winner while his grandam, Acacia Bay (Rodrigo De Triano) is a Syndney-winning half-sister to four stakes winners, headed by Group 1 winner Calveen (Canny Lad).
His third dam, Calvinia (Varick), is a half-sister to South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner English Wonder (Twig Moss), the dam of champion Dr Grace (Sir Tristram). The latter was rumoured to be on the short list to stand at Cambridge Stud, alongside his sire, an honour that would fall to Zabeel.
Tragically, Dr Grace suffered a paddock accident at Woodlands Stud in the Hunter Valley and stood for only three seasons.