Discretion Rules Breaks Through in Champagne

7 May 2024

Discretion Rules. Photo: Race Images South

After gallant placings in all of his three previous starts, Discretion Rules (Alabama Express) broke through in style in Saturday’s $80,000 Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton.

Discretion Rules was bought by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis for $165,000 from the Book 1 draft of Highline Thoroughbreds at Karaka 2023. His four-start career has so far produced a win, three placings and $71,800 in stakes.

Discretion Rules was ridden by apprentice jockey Niranjan Parmar on Saturday and initially settled on the outside of the pace-making Great Time (NZ) (Time Test). Parmar urged Discretion Rules to quicken at the 300-metre mark and he bounded up on the outside of the leader and thrust his head in front.

Challengers lined up across the track to try to reel him in, but Discretion Rules kicked hard and put himself well out of reach, crossing the line half a length clear of the late-closing Ziggy Stardust (NZ) (Turn Me Loose).

“It was a really good win today,” co-trainer Mark Walker said. “He’d obviously been going great races behind his stablemate Nucleozor (NZ) (Almanzor), but it was good to see him get his maiden win in a Listed race.

“He’s a yearling that Dave (Ellis) bought before we knew how good the sire Alabama Express was going to be. He’s a very promising sire and we were very impressed with his yearlings throughout the sales series. He’s got a lovely line of young horses.

“We’re going to give Discretion Rules a break now, because he’s had four starts since early March, so it’s great for him to gain a valuable win before going out.”

Discretion Rules became the first stakes winner for Alabama Express, who had his only yearling at Karaka 2024 sell for $300,000 earlier this year.

Discretion Rules and Saturday’s Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1400m) winner Super Photon (NZ) (Super Seth) became this season’s seventh and eighth stakes-winning two-year-olds to come out of Karaka 2023.

Vendor Highline Thoroughbreds
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis CNZM (BAFNZ) (Te Akau)
Breeding Alabama Express – Miss Madonna
Sale Lot 351, Karaka 2023 Book 1, $165,000
Bred by Mrs C Hassell