Another Flemington Feature for Justacanta (NZ)

1 November 2021

Karaka Graduate Justacanta (NZ), wins the Group Two Linlithgow Stakes (1200m). Photo: Bruno Cannatelli.

Australia’s most famous racetrack has become a happy hunting ground for Karaka graduate Justacanta (NZ) (Per Incanto), who triumphed in the A$300,000 Group Two Linlithgow Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Bought for just $11,000 from the 2014 May Sale at Karaka, the gelding has had two starts at Flemington for two lucrative stakes victories. He had previously won the A$175,000 Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) there in early October.

Justacanta has now had a total of 52 starts for eight wins, 21 placings and around $480,000 in stakes – more than 43 times his purchase price at Karaka seven years ago, and 80 times what his current ownership group paid to buy him off New Zealand Bloodstock’s online subsidiary in 2019.

Justacanta is still part-owned by his New Zealand trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy, who sent him across the Tasman to join Patrick Payne’s stable this spring.

Saturday’s performance was the biggest triumph yet, charging home in the hands of jockey Dean Yendall for a thrilling last-gasp win over million-dollar earner Kemalpasa (Magnus).

“Patrick was pretty keen on him on the way he’d been working and the way he’d been looking going into today,” Yendall said.

“He did think it might be a bit strong for him, but it was worth a throw at the stumps. We hit that middle wicket and really knocked those bails clean off today. I thought I had plenty in hand and he attacked the line well.”

Justacanta’s syndicate of Kiwi owners includes the Clotworthys’ neighbour Len Phillips.

“We just woke the neighbourhood up here,” Phillips told NZ Racing Desk. “Patrick’s report on him this morning was really positive and this has been a six-month plan to get him to Australia to run at Flemington.

“We were looking at potentially backing him up on the last day over 1400 metres (Group Three Chatham Stakes), but now that he has won this, we will probably have to have a think about it and save him a little bit.

“All credit to Shaun and Emma. He was pretty touchy when we bought him. He had some bad habits, and they looked after him and got him to where he is now.”

Also a Group Three placegetter in New Zealand, Justacanta is the best-performed of four winners from seven foals to race out of Just Casual (NZ) (Casual Lies), who is a full-sister to the Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner So Casual (NZ) (Casual Lies).

Vendor Little Avondale Stud
Purchaser Mr DG Greene (Hamilton)
Breeding Per Incanto – Just Casual
Sale Lot 41, 2014 May Sale, $11,000
Bred by Little Avondale