It was an extremely close race for multiple placings but after a lengthy wait for the photo finish, Enzo’s Lad (Testa Rossa) won his second edition of the race.
Enzo’s Lad settled behind the leaders and waited for his opening in the 1200 metre race. With about 300 metres to go, he lost a bit of ground on the lead but switched into gear quickly afterward to chase after Ferrando (NZ) (Fast ‘N’ Famous). It was a close finish with Enzo’s Lad slowly making up ground and only getting even with the leader on the line.
Enzo’s Lad was able to nose out Ferrando by the smallest of margins and in a tight race that saw two different dead heats in the results, Sensei (Dream Ahead) and Signify (NZ)(Perfectly Ready) weren’t able to be separated for third.
By Testa Rossa, Enzo’s Lad went through the sales ring twice. The gelding was passed in at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale before selling for $15,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.
His dam Sheerama has three winners from eight runners with Enzo’s Lad her only stakes winner. Her half-brother is Group 2 winner Patpong and further back in the pedigree is Group 3 winner Chakvetadze. The mare had one final foal after Enzo’s Lad, that being Ravishingrickrude, who was sent to New Zealand in 2014 as a weanling.
Winning the Group 2 Kamada Park Manawatu Challenge Stakes last out, Shadows Cast (Per Incanto) went even better in the Harcourts Thorndon Mile to notch his first career Group 1 victory.
Sitting just behind the leading The Mitigator (Master of Design) for most of the 1600m race, he was ready to go around the far turn and drew even with the leader at the 400 metre mark. From there, it looked at first like his only job would be to extend his lead but Wyndspelle (Iffraaj) wasn’t going to let him get away that easy.
In the final 200 metres Wyndspelle first ran past The Mitigator, who was still in second before setting his aims on Shadows Cast. The line came just in time for the gelding with Wyndspelle only a neck behind at the line. Watch This Space (Elusive City) finished third, two lengths behind the pair.
Passed in for $6,000 at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Yearling & Mixed Sale, Shadows Cast is the third Group 1 winner for Per Incanto, whose second winner came earlier this month with Santa Monica winning the Group 1 ARC Railway Stakes.
Shadows Cast is the final of three foals from Ages Past, who had a full brother to this gelding in 2016 that died. All three of the mare’s live foals have run with Twilight Doll (St Reims) also a winner at the mile. Ages Past is a full-sister to Rat Tat and a half-sister to Listed-placed Scan Bold.
Winning the longest race of the day brought huge satisfaction when Gorbachev (NZ)(Gorky Park) crossed the line first in the Group 3 NZ Campus of Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup.
Trainer Bryce Newman admitted there had been many challenges with the gelding but he showed no signs of his past when winning his first Group race. Ridden by apprentice Ryan Elliot, Gorbachev was sitting only a few lengths off the leading Bizzwinkle throughout the 3200 metre race as he waited for his cue to strike.
While a few horses passed him as the field started its turn into the straight, Gorbachev was still within striking distance and moved up to the leading Dee And Gee (NZ)(Darci Brahma) in the final 350 metres. It was a battle of wills from there as both jockeys asked their mounts to give more effort with Prince Jabeel (Savabeel) trying to slide up the rail and join the fight. But that rival quickly left the top two to battle it out on their own when dropping a length back and watching what would be another close finishing race.
In the end, Gorbachev prevailed with Dee And Gee only a head back in second with Prince Jabeel easily holding on to his third place spot behind the two.
Gorbachev is the fifth foal from Gimmeawink (Carnegie), who has had three foals to race with the gelding being her only winner. Gimmeawink is from Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Kindergarten (GB)(Trempolino), who has had three daughters produce stakes horses.
A deep European family, Gimmeawink’s third dam is the granddam of champion Winged Love (In The Wings) and Fidelite (In The Wings) among 19 stakes horses in Gimmeawink’s first three dams.
Gimmeawink’s youngest foal is a yearling full brother to Gorbachev.
A 2-year-old Listed winner, Secret Allure (NZ) (Zacinto) added more blacktype to her record on Saturday when winning the Group 3 Williment Travel Group Desert Gold Stakes.
Secret Allure sat midpack as Miss Valencia(NZ)(Ocean Park) and Valalie (Snitzel) battled it out in front lengths in front of the rest of the field for many of the early stages of the race. As the field rounded the far turn and bunched up, Secret Allure slipped farther back in the field but had a prime spot on the rail as she bided her time. This worked to her advantage in the straight as she saved ground before angling out and finding a hole to get in the clear and pass the leader in the last 100 metres.
It was another fast closing finish with Jakkalbomb (NZ) (Jakkalberry) less than a length behind Secret Allure at the line while Valalie gallantly finish third after her early duel.
A $36,000 purchase from the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, Secret Allure is the third foal from the winning Secret Scent (NZ)(O’Reilly).
Secret Scent is a full sister to Listed winner and two-time Group 1 placed Ombre Rose (NZ)(O’Reilly), who has produced three stakes placers in her broodmare career. This is also the immediate family of Group 2 winners Aquidity (NZ) (Avaray) and The Sportsman (NZ) (Kilimanjaro), who are half-siblings to Secret Scent’s dam Lady Chanele (NZ)(Citidancer).
Secret Scent’s youngest foal is a yearling colt by Shooting to Win.
Belwazi (Bel Esprit) gave her dam Nkwazi (Rory’s Jester) the first stakes winner of her broodmare career when winning the Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington.
Belwazi was near the tail of the pack during much of the race down the straight, taking cover behind Bullpit (Speed ‘n’ Power). But as that gelding started fading, he gave her clear running room and she took full advantage of it. She started rolling at the 300 metres mark and had command of the lead by the 200 metre mark. While it was a tight finish, Belwazi was never in danger of losing the race, just doing what she had to in the closing stages.
Glenall (Redoute’s Choice) was second with the returning Champagne Cuddles (Not A Single Doubt) taking her record to 10 placings in 15 starts when finishing third.
The five-year-old Belwazi is one of five winners from six to race for Nkwazi with those five winners combining for 24 wins. The mare’s second oldest runner, Our Nkwazi (Arazi) had 10 wins in his career for over $300,000 in earnings.
Nkwazi is a half-sister to the dam of Group 2 winner Longport (Casino Prince) and this is also the family of Group 3 winner Fuss (At Talaq). Nkwazi was pensioned after having the unraced 3-year-old Choisir colt Our Wazi and died in 2017.
It was a big stakes debut for Air Max (Nadeem) in the Listed Liquourland Gore Guineas with the gelding adding a stakes victory to his resume in impressive style.
While Grand Express set the pace up front, Lee Callaway settled his mount near the back of the field. Air Max seemed eager to run from the first but also willing to listen to his rider and willingly attempted to squeeze through a small hole at the top of the straight before changing course.
When the field hit the 200 metre mark, there was still a lot of work to do but Air Max was up for it. In the last 100 metres, he made up multiple lengths to win by half a length over Dreamtesta (Testa Rossa) with Weaponry (Declaration of War) and Fire Show (Showcasing) close behind in third and fourth.
A half-brother to two-time Listed winner Boots ‘N’ All, Air Max was passed in at the New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Yearling & Mixed Sale in 2017.
His dam Steel Stilettos (Hussonet) was a winner at 1600 metres and has a top family behind her with horses such as Group 1 winners Bonaria and Merchant Navy under her fourth dam. The mare has three winners from three to race and has an unnamed Super Easy yearling colt on the ground.
Special Condition Inglis Dash
Tropezina (Epaulette) made a third consecutive visit to the winner’s enclosure on Saturday in the Inglis Dash at Flemington.
The filly jumped out in front when the barriers opened and while she had the rest of the field nipping at her heels, didn’t look to be bothered much in the early running. At the 400 metre mark jockey Ben Melham gave her the cue to put a bit more pressure on the field and the filly responded, showing a speedy closing kick.
While she was getting tired in the end and Beerz With Clint (Written Tycoon) closed the small margin she had given herself, the filly was still able to win for the third time in five races. Prairie Fire (Snitzel), who had been pressuring the filly on the stands side as she tired finished third.
Tropezina was a $65,000 purchase at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearlings Sale in 2017, with her Bernardini half-brother passed in at Inglis Easter the year before. That half-brother is the oldest foal from Boredom (Ad Valorem), who has produced two to race.
A winner herself, Boredom is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Complacent (Authorized) and Listed winner Ataraxia (Teofilo). This is also the family of Australian Champion 2-year-old Dracula (Quest For Fame) and Wandjina (Snitzel), among others.
Boredom has an unnamed Kermadec yearling, an Artie Schiller weanling filly, and she was bred back to Kermadec in 2018.