Antino (NZ) Stakes Group One Claim

2 October 2023

An impressive performance in Sunday’s A$200,000 Group Three Sandown Stakes (1500m) has earned a rising star Ready to Run Sale graduate the chance to provide a dream advertisement leading into the 2023 edition of the world’s leading two-year-old sale.

Antino (NZ) pictured ahead of the 2020 Ready to Run Sale.

Antino (NZ) (Redwood) was bought by New Balance Racing for just $27,000 from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale. He has now had 11 starts for nine wins, earning A$481,415 in stakes – close to 20 times his purchase price.

Sunday’s Sandown Stakes was the second black-type success for Antino, who had previously won the Listed Wayne Wilson (1600m) in spectacular style at Eagle Farm in June.

More significantly, though, Sunday’s win confirmed that Antino’s next start will be a shot at the A$1m Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14 – just over a month out from the 2023 Ready to Run Sale, which will be held at Karaka on November 22 and 23.

“He was tradesmanlike today without being brilliant yet, but that’s what we’ve seen from him in Brisbane as well,” trainer Tony Gollan said. “He did that same thing, but then when he gets into his preparation he gets better. So I think you’ll see him better again in 13 days.”

Antino’s big Melbourne spring campaign got off to a less-than-ideal start last month, where he finished a desperately unlucky fourth in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington.

But there was no repeat of that misfortune at Sandown on Sunday, where jockey Blake Shinn kept him out of trouble before bringing him home over the top of Here To Shock (NZ) (Shocking) for a narrow but authoritative victory.

“He’s a nice horse – his record suggests that,” Shinn said. “He did a good job today. He was a bit slow away and did a few things wrong in the early stages, but after that all he wanted to do was relax.

“I think it was important to give him every opportunity, get him into clear galloping room and see what he’s got. He delivered the goods really well.

“He was a bit claustrophobic inside horses in his last start, so I wanted to ensure that he had clear room.

“He was going to win really easily at the 300. Whether he got a bit lost in the big open air after that, it just felt like he was holding back a touch. But he’s an exciting horse and it’s great to get this win on him.

“The more he’s under pressure, the more he’ll keep giving. In a better race – potentially the Toorak – he’ll be very competitive. He’s a good horse.”

Antino is by in-form Westbury Stud sire Redwood, who had plenty of highlights last season from the likes of multiple Group One winner Sharp ‘N’ Smart (NZ) and Hong Kong Derby (2000m) runner-up Tuchel (NZ). Antino’s unraced dam Mahamaya (NZ) (Bahhare) is a sister to Group One winner Hurrah (NZ) (Bahhare) and multiple Hong Kong Group One placegetter Best Gift (NZ) (Bahhare).

Sunday’s Sandown Stakes runner-up Here To Shock is also a Karaka graduate. He was a $70,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2019, and he has earned A$531,690 from a 22-start, seven-win career.

Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Vendor Cheltenham Stables
Purchaser New Balance Racing (Hong Kong)
Breeding Redwood – Mahamaya
Sale Lot 285, 2020 Ready to Run Sale, $27,000
Bred by Blossom Trading & Breeding Company Ltd