South African jockey Craig Zackey claimed the main event of the day at Te Rapa when he guided Prise De Fer to a narrow victory in the Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m).
Zackey allowed the seven-year-old Savabeel gelding to settle last before improving to join the leaders inside the final furlong and hold a narrow margin to the line to defeat the fast-finishing Taranaki visitor Sinarahma.
Trainer Mark Walker cut a satisfied figure after Prise De Fer captured his tenth career victory, as it was his first win in six starts in his current campaign, although he had been placed in four of those runs including finishing third in the Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m) at Hastings.
“It was a really good effort as horses like this can be tough to place at times,” Walker said.
“They are at the top of the handicaps and this race worked out really great today.
“Full credit to David Ellis as we have had five winners today and he has bought four of them.
“The horse really deserves this and you never know, he may turn up in the Captain Cook Stakes (Gr.1, 1600m) next week.
“He’s been all around it in the Group Ones, but he is getting older and that makes it tougher.
“He is a stable favourite so great work from him today.”
Zackey remained humble as he gave all the praise to his mount for the win.
“He is a superstar,” he said.
“Down the back he was getting crowded and the pace was on as he was getting bumped around.
“I just tried to save as much energy as we could before I hooked him out and said come on this is what we do.
“He has come home and produced, he did all the work and this will give him some real confidence.
“He is a lovely natured horse and he is definitely not stopping with this.”
Raced by the Te Akau En Garde Syndicate, Prise De Fer was purchased as a yearling by Ellis for $100,000 out of the Trelawney Stud Karaka 2017 draft, where he was offered on behalf of breeders Raffles Dancers (NZ) Pty Ltd.
The half-brother to Australian Group Two winner Belong To Many, Prise De Fer has now won ten of his 38 starts along with being placed on another 15 occasions and stakes earnings in excess of $650,000.
Saturday’s victory was the seven-year-old gelding’s second Group Two victory, while he has been placed at Group One level on five occasions. – NZ Racing Desk