HK Derby Quinella Spearheads Great Weekend for NZB

14 March 2005

An exciting quinella in the HK$14 Million Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (2000m) was a superb result for the New Zealand breeding industry.

New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale graduates, Vengeance Of Rain (Zabeel x Danelagh) and Russian Pearl (Soviet Star x Velinda) gave their contemporaries a galloping lesson in the prestigious event.

Vengeance Of Rain was caught three wide early but received cover for much of the race and was able to pull away in the straight to score by 2 � lengths at the line. The well-bred horse was sold by Cambridge Stud at the 2002 Premier Sale where Graeme Rogerson paid $300,000 for him.

Russian Pearl, who was sold at the same sale, settled back early in the running and passed most of the field in the straight to pick up second placing. He was sold as a yearling by Java Lodge and purchased by Stuart Hale & Co for $37,500.

At Flemington, New Zealand-bred mare Winning Belle (Zabeel x Kirin Belle) finished second in the Group 1 Australian Cup. Superb racemare Makybe Diva took out the event in phenomenal, course record time of 1.58.73. Winning Belle had won her last start, the Group 3 Canterbury Cup, and this placing is her second in Group 1 company. She was sold at the 2002 Premier Yearling Sale by Pencarrow Stud. Gai Waterhouse purchased her for $280,000.

New Zealand's premier race meeting this weekend was Te Aroha Jockey Club's New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders' Stakes Day. The Group 1 feature is the richest race for fillies and mares in the country and as such had drawn an elite field.

In form four-year-old Rockabubble (Bubble Gum Fellow x Blond Rocket) took out the event giving her trainer Tony Cole his first Group 1 win. Three-year-old Spin 'N Grin (Spinning World x Smile) looked threatening as she unleashed an impressive sprint down the long Te Aroha straight but only managed a second placing, a long neck from the winner.

Filey (O'Reilly x Soltanto) finished third in the 1600 metre event.

Paul O'Sullivan purchased Rockabubble as a yearling from New Zealand Bloodstock's 2002 Premier Sale. She was sold by Brooklands Bloodstock for $57,500. Spin 'N Grin is also a New Zealand Bloodstock graduate having been sold through the 2003 Premier Sale. David Ellis paid $65,000 for the filly who came from Curraghmore Stud's draft.