Kovalica (NZ) Stars in Grand Prix

19 December 2022

Since being moved to a new position on the calendar, Eagle Farm’s A$250,000 Group Three Ascot Green Grand Prix Stakes (2100m) is showing signs of becoming a springboard to stardom for quality Karaka graduates.

Kovalica (NZ) (Ocean Park), who was a $110,000 purchase by Mulcaster Bloodstock from Book 1 of Karaka 2021, was sent out as a $1.45 favourite and lived up to expectations in style. He has now had five starts for four wins, earning A$264,750 in prize-money with the promise of much more to come.

Previously held during Brisbane’s winter carnival, the three-year-old feature has now found a new home in December. Last year’s race was won by subsequent Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m) heroine Gypsy Goddess (NZ) (Tarzino), and Saturday’s 2022 edition may have unearthed another rising star.

Kovalica (NZ) winning Eagle Farm’s A$250,000 Group Three Ascot Green Grand Prix Stakes (2100m)


The gelding was ridden by James Orman in Saturday’s Eagle Farm feature, and he unleashed an irresistible finish from last in the eight-horse field. Kovalica looped around the outside at the home turn and rapidly swept past his outclassed opposition, scoring with ease.

“He’s a typical stayer,” Orman said. “He bounces out and lobs along off the bridle, and when you click him up, he’s right there underneath you.

“I got there a lot quicker than I wanted, but he’s just going to get better with the better class of races and a bit more competition.”

Kovalica is trained by Chris Waller, whose Queensland representative Brett Killion was delighted with Saturday’s performance.

“He is a lovely staying prospect,” he said. “There was no pace and he circled them and came away.

“He is very responsive and you can put him anywhere. There was a school of thought that we would probably bounce forward today and put him outside the leader. That wasn’t the plan, but I am sure that if it was, we would have got the same result.

“He picked them up pretty easily, and there are bigger things in store including Derbies. Hopefully we are back here in May.”

The A$1m Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) will be run at the same Eagle Farm circuit on May 27.

Kovalica was bred by Nearco Stud and is by Ocean Park (NZ) out of Vitesse (NZ) (Makfi), a half-sister to three-time Australian Group One winner (The) Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux).

Kilgravin Lodge will offer a half-sister to Kovalica during Karaka 2023 at the end of January. The filly by Super Seth will go through the ring as Lot 626 during Book 1.

Vendor Curraghmore
Purchaser Mulcaster Bloodstock (Auckland)
Breeding Ocean Park – Vitesse
Sale Lot 205, Karaka 2021 Book 1, $110,000
Bred by Nearco Stud Limited