Iffraaj Three-Year-Olds Running HotMonday, Sep 10, 2012
Promising young sire Iffraaj was represented by his first southern hemisphere stakes winner at Wanganui on Saturday with Karaka graduate Twilight Granita heading a quinella for her sire in the $50,000 Listed Fordell O'Leary Fillies Stakes (1200m).
Europe’s 2010 Champion First Season Sire, Iffraaj has had eight individual three-year-old winners so far this season, and sired the quinella in Saturday’s Listed race with Twilight Granita (ex Granita) narrowly defeating the game Kisses (Iffraaj x La Marmalade) at the post.
Trained by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, Twilight Granita was ridden well back in the field by jockey Jason Waddell after jumping from the wide barrier of 11. Brought around the outside of the field on the home turn, Twilight Granita had to fight to get the better of Kisses, winning in a tight finish with just a nose separating the pair.
Twilight Granita came into Saturday’s race as a maiden but she has been a picture of consistency with her eight starts bringing six third placings, including the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes, Listed Champagne Stakes and Listed Wentwood Grange Stakes.
Bred and offered by Lime Country Thoroughbreds, Twilight Granita was purchased by Baker Racing for $41,000 at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2011 Karaka Select Sale. Raced by M & R Adams, J, J & K Crichton, Prof R Harbridge, D Stockley & B Watson, the filly has now won just under $50,000 in stakes and carries a nomination for the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas.
Standing at Haunui Farm, Iffraaj’s first crop of yearlings were well received by buyers at Karaka 2011 with 47 yearlings selling for an average of over $100,000. Now three-year-olds, these horses are giving their sire a solid start to the new season.
“Iffraaj has made a really positive start to the season,” said Haunui Farm's General Manager Mark Chitty. “The three-year-old classic season is the time you want to see a stallion’s progeny winning stakes and Group races and getting a black-type quinella is a good start.
“His progeny have been purchased by a number of top judges who have spoken highly of them so to have eight individual three-year-old winners so far this season, and a stakes winner, certainly backs up what these people have been saying.
“Another promising factor is that he produces fillies that can run. He has a number of smart fillies including Fix, Glade and Meleka Belle who all won their debut three-year-old races and are nominated for the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas in November.
“He also has a smart three-year-old gelding in Singapore in Empire Bay who is trained by Michael Freedman and won his debut by over six lengths. He is being aimed at black-type later this month so it’s exciting times for Iffraaj.”