Sarten Memorial Win For Son Of Darci Brahma

Karaka graduate Harlech came of age at Te Rapa on Monday with an emphatic victory in the G2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes.

Harlech  Picture: Race Images PN

The Darci Brahma colt was a $100,000 purchase during Book 1 of Karaka 2018 by respected bloodstock agent Paul Moroney.

He is trained by Moroney's brother Mike in partnership with Pam Gerard.

Carrying the colours of part-owners the Elias Fletcher Partnership, Harlech had won one of his four previous races and was a last start second behind the subsequent stakes winner Travelling Light.

He faced a talented line-up on Monday but opened up a wide margin in the straight and at the finish still had a length and a half over the fast-finishing Run To Perfection (Sepoy).

Now the winner of $76,000 in stakes, Harlech is on track for a shot at the G1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 9.

"We're pleased to get that first stakes win out of the way," Gerard said. "He's been so promising right the way through. All of his runs so far have been very good, he's done nothing wrong.

"You have so much confidence in the horses that Paul and Mike pick out. If you're patient with them, they just grow into such fabulous animals.

"This colt is a stunner to look at, and the horses that they pick out at the sales just have so much natural ability.

"We'll be on the plane to Christchurch now, and hopefully we can give it a bit of a rattle."

Runner-up Run To Perfection is also a Karaka graduate, purchased for $55,000 at the 2018 Ready to Run Sale.

Mauna Kea Wins G3 Thompson Handicap

Less than a month out from the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, another graduate of the exceptional Sale of two-year-olds has become a black-type winner.

Mauna Kea (Per Incanto), who was passed in with a $45,000 reserve at the 2015 Karaka Sale, claimed the biggest win of his career in Saturday's G3 Thompson Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.

Trained by Paul Moseley for a large group of owners, Mauna Kea has now had 26 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $177,150 in stakes – almost four times his Ready to Run Sale reserve.

Mauna Kea raced in a prominent position in Saturday's Trentham feature, then took over in the straight to hold out Jessiegee (Alamosa), who herself cost only $15,000 at the 2015 Select Sale.

Moseley was proud to see his stable star perform at Group level.

"I wouldn't mind a couple more like him," he said. "The game would be a lot easier with a couple more like that."

The Ready to Run Sale has produced a long line of big-race performers in recent seasons, headed by G1 winners such as Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor), Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook), Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj), Gingernuts (Iffraaj), Vin De Dance (Roc de Cambes), Hall of Fame (Savabeel), Dukedom (Bachelor Duke), Gaultier (Rios), Atlante (Fastnet Rock), Albany Reunion (Fastnet Rock), Sangster (Savabeel), Nashville (Darci Brahma), Glorious Days (Hussonet) and Shootoff (Duelled).

The 2019 edition of the Ready to Run Sale will be held at Karaka on 20 and 21 November with a catalogue of 414 two-year-olds to go under the hammer.

Unbeaten Filly Takes Wellesley

Showcasing filly Play That Song, bought for $40,000 in Book 2 of Karaka 2019, continued a perfect start to her career in Saturday's Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham.

The Nigel Tiley-trained filly had scored a smart debut win on debut at Ruakaka on October 2 and on Saturday she made it two out of two with a valuable black-type success.

"She has a good turn of foot and really wants to compete," Tiley said.. "I didn't know if she would handle the heavy track out there today, and she did struggle across the junction, but once she got on the right leg in the home straight, she did it nicely."

With $34,375 in stakes already to her name, Play That Song is in prime position to make the field for the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 25.

Chief Sequoyah Handles Class Rise

A $15,000 Select Sale purchase Chief Sequoyah took a big step up in class in Saturday's Listed Christchurch Casino Spring Classic (2000m) at Riccarton.

Trained in Cambridge by Stephen Marsh, the promising Redwood gelding had placed in Rating 65 company at Ashburton in his previous appearance.

Stepping up to open company for Saturday's middle-distance feature, Chief Sequoyah and jockey Sam Weatherley led all the way and held on strongly to win by three-quarters of a length.

Chief Sequoyah has now had 15 starts for two wins, seven placings and $55,290 in stakes – more than three and a half times his purchase price.

Marsh has nominated Chief Sequoyah for the G3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton on November 16.

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