Archaic Smile Snares Valuable Stakes Success
14 January 2024
Two-year-old Karaka graduates swept the first three placings in Saturday’s $90,000 Listed Wellesley Stakes (1100m) at Trentham, headed by a commanding performance by Archaic Smile (Saxon Warrior).
The classy filly was a $55,000 purchase by owner Masa Otani from Woburn Farm’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2023. She has now had three starts for two wins, earning $75,750 in stakes along with valuable black type.
Ridden by Michael McNab for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike, Archaic Smile trailed the front-running Macaluso (NZ) (Savabeel) before pouncing with a classy turn of foot after rounding the home turn. She shook free of her seven opponents down the straight, opening up a winning margin of two lengths.
“She’s just a filly that’s kept on improving,” Pike said. “Her work through the week has been outstanding, especially at Ellerslie on Monday, and I thought she’d be extremely hard to beat when taking a sit behind the speed.
“Yoshi Manawa, who works for me, looks after a few horses for Mr Otani from Japan. This filly was bought here from Singapore for her early education, but with Singapore closing he’s left her here which is a huge boost for us.
“We’ll just work our way through the targets from here. There’s a couple of Group One two-year-old races for her. We’ll get her home from Wellington, she’ll have a short break after this, and then we’ll work out a programme towards those races. It’s just good to get a stakes win on the board as a filly. She’s a really natural two-year-old and very professional.”
Runner-up Nebuchadnezzar (NZ) (Rageese) secured a black-type placing in the first start of his career. He was offered by Windsor Park Stud in Book 1 of Karaka 2023, where he was passed in. He has a half-brother by Circus Maximus catalogued as Lot 221 in Karaka 2024.
Third placegetter Macaluso was a $600,000 purchase by Forsman Racing, Andrew Williams Bloodstock and Bevan Smith Bloodstock from the Book 1 draft of Elsdon Park.
|Mr M Otani (Singapore)
|Saxon Warrior – On The Ball
|Lot 393, Karaka 2023 Book 1, $55,000
|Mr RA Emery
Photo: Peter Rubery Race Images