Aromatic (NZ) Breaks Through in Counties Cup

21 November 2022

Te Akau Racing's Aromatic (NZ) wins the Group Three Pukekohe Traders Counties Cup (2100m). Photo: Trish Dunell.

Frequent big-race bridesmaid Aromatic (NZ) (Sacred Falls) stepped up to claim a deserved win at Pukekohe on Saturday, coming out on top in a tight finish to the $130,000 Group Three Pukekohe Traders Counties Cup (2100m). 

Bought by David Ellis for $160,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2018, Aromatic has now earned $185,550 for the Te Akau Sacred Wine Syndicate. Her 20-start career has produced four wins and no fewer than 10 second placings, including the Group Three Metric Mile (1600m), Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) and Listed Staphanos Classic (1950m).

The grey six-year-old appeared to be staring down the barrel of another runner-up finish when, after being presented out wide at the top of the straight and sprinting into contention under jockey Craig Grylls, she was drawn into a desperate battle with a high-class stablemate.

Her opponent was Self Obsession (NZ) (Shocking), the reigning New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year who won three Group Two races last season and placed in the Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

Self Obsession fought ferociously and appeared to be getting the upper hand, but Aromatic was able to find that little bit more through the final 100 metres to snatch a hard-earned victory by a long head.

“That was a good, tough effort,” Grylls said. “I was a little bit further back than I wanted to be, but I stayed out deep with a bit of cover, and I was able to creep forward when I wanted to. I was happy with the way we were going, and I think that rain before the race loosened the track up quite nicely for her.

“I’ve been up against Self Obsession before and she is a tough nut to get past, so that was a good, tough win.”

Both Aromatic and Self Obsession are trained by Te Akau Racing’s Mark Walker, who celebrated his 100th career black-type victory in New Zealand.

“That shower of rain a few minutes ago probably helped Aromatic,” Walker said. “It was a good effort, because Self Obsession is always so gutsy. Both mares really did us proud. They can both carry on towards something like the Waikato Cup (Group Three, 2400m) next.”

Aromatic was bred by Tony Rider and was offered by his Milan Park operation at Karaka 2018.

Vendor Milan Park
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Sacred Falls – Vickezzchardonnay
Sale Lot 686, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $160,000
Bred by T V Rider