Aeroforce One Claims New Zealand Bloodstock St Leger

21 March 2005

The Listed New Zealand Bloodstock St Leger (2500m) was taken home in style by the Roger James-trained, Aeroforce One (Marscay x Maurine) at Trentham on Saturday. The colt won by a comfortable margin of 3� lengths to Downwind (Grosvenor x Star World) in second and Categlory (Felix The Cat x Free Court) in third place.

Aeroforce One is from Group 1 Avondale Cup winning mare, Maurine, a sister to Group 1 winner Maurita, dam of Group 1 winners Marvelous Crown and Grand Flotilla. He is also a half brother to Anatomy (Thunder Gulch). Aeroforce One was passed in at the 2002 Ready To Run Sale and the vendor, Graeme Bax's Blandford Lodge, now race the horse themselves.

The race was expected to be a procession for hot favourite Kerry O'Reilly (O'Reilly x Pegarah) but he struggled to come to terms with the easy footing at Trentham. Although the big bay looked to have the $50,000 listed event in the bag at the point of the turn he was soon swamped by the field as they raced up the straight, eventually finishing eighth.

The Group 3 Marsh Limited Desert Gold Stakes was also run at Trentham and saw current Southern Filly of the Year Series leader, Senorita Dane (Senor Pete x Snadame) collect more black type. National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale graduate and Waikato Guineas winner, Sista (Magic Of Sydney x Blister), ran second. The filly was purchased as a weanling at the 2002 sale by Grant McLeod for $1000 from Grande Vue Lodge.

In Australia, New Zealand fillies and mares had a good day on the turf at Rosehill. New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year, Justa Tad (Istidaad x Infinity), ran a gallant third in the Group 1 Arrowfield Stud Stakes. The filly was a touch unlucky in the running but looked impressive when finding the line in what was her first Australian start. Justa Tad was another $1000 purchase from the 2002 National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale by owner/trainer, Rudy Liefting.

Vouvray (Zabeel x Real Success) picked up another Group 1 placing when she ran third to Makybe Diva and Grand Armee in The BMW. The four-year-old mare was sold at the 2002 Premier Yearling Sale by Trelawney Stud for $300,000.

In the Group 1 McMillan Print Queen Of The Turf Stakes New Zealand bred Tui Song (Centaine x Alta Romance) ran second.

In the wake of the fantastic Derby win, by New Zealand Bloodstock graduate Vengeance Of Rain, another two graduates won in Hong Kong at the weekend.

2003 Premier Yearling Sale graduate Sharki (Cape Cross x Ricamo) won the Class 3 1400 Butterfly Handicap to bring his winning tally to four. The colt was purchased by Robert Priscott for $70,000 from Esker Lodge.

Earlier in the day Noble Wind (Desert King x Miss Rory) won the Class 4 Tai Hing Handicap over 1650 metres. The four-year-old gelding was sold as a yearling at the 2002 Select Sale for $75,000.