Waikato (NZ) Blitzes Singapore's QE II CupMonday, Apr 30, 2012
Karaka graduates are setting the Singapore tracks alight this season with eight of 11 stakes races under their belt so far, with the remarkable eight-year-old Waikato (NZ) continuing the winning streak with victory in the S$350,000 Sgp-2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m) at Kranji last night.
In his 66th race appearance, Waikato (Pins x Skywalker Wilkes) showed he has lost none of his competitive edge as last night's win was the 19th of his remarkable career which has seen him earn over S$2.3 million for Laurie Laxon's Silver Fern Racing Stables.
Waikato settled in fifth place on the fence for champion jockey Joao Moreira and was taken three wide off the rail coming into the straight. Asked to quicken coming off the home corner, the race was put beyond doubt as the Laxon trained and owned gelding powered away to victory by a length.
Waikato is one of five Karaka stakes winners in Singapore this season. Photo courtesy of the STC
The victory was Waikato's first win over 2000 metres and will put the eight-year-old in good stead for his next start in the $3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup over the same trip. The son of Pins has contested the race twice during his career, finishing third-equal last year and fourth in 2010.
"I am totally amazed by him," said Laxon. "To see him racing he is just so happy in himself. He has never put his ears back at any stage of his career. He's a racehorse and just loves being one.
"The beauty with this horse is that he relaxes so well in his races now and you can ride him on a piece of cotton, but he still has a good sprint as he showed in the race."
Bred, raised and sold by Brent Gillovic's Highview, Waikato was purchased by Laurie Laxon at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2005 Karaka Premier Sale for $50,000.
New Zealand Bloodstock graduates have won eight of the 11 stakes races in Singapore this season. Headlined by the superstar three-year-old Super Easy (Darci Brahma) who is unbeaten in Singapore, other stakes winners include Better Than Ever (French Deputy), Flying Fulton (Flying Spur), Nandowra (Savabeel) and now Waikato.
New Zealand Bloodstock graduates have also featured in the Singapore two-year-old ranks with Super Good (Fastnet Rock) winning his race debut, the Golden Horse Shoe Preview, by 2.5 lengths.