Mo’unga (NZ) Triumphs in Rosehill Guineas

29 March 2021

Mo’unga (NZ) claims the Group One A$600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m). 

Three weeks on from a luckless second in the Randwick Guineas (1600m), high-quality colt Mo’unga (NZ) (Savabeel) bounced back and got his Group One in Saturday’s A$600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m). 

Bought for $325,000 from Waikato Stud’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019 by Aquis Farm, Mo’unga has now had seven starts for four wins, two placings and A$693,290 in stakes.

Ridden by Tommy Berry, Mo’unga settled in the back half of a strung-out Rosehill Guineas field, and the favourite still had only four horses behind him at the top of the home straight.

But then Berry got him to the outside of the track and let him rip, and Mo’unga’s magnificent finishing burst carried him into the lead inside the last 200 metres.

He was pushed hard in the closing stages by Sky Lab (Real Impact), but Mo’unga kept finding, kept giving and scored by a long head.

Berry believes Mo’unga’s victory on Saturday could be a stepping stone to further Group One success in either the Australian Derby (2400m) or against older horses in the Doncaster Mile (1600m).

“That was good, especially after last start when he was so hard done by,” Berry said.

“He’s just such a good colt, this bloke. I think he’s that good that he could go to either the Derby or the Doncaster. If he’s trained for a Derby, I reckon he can run the trip out, but we saw how effective he was over the mile last start as well. I wouldn’t be able to ride him at 49kg in a Doncaster, so how about we go to the Derby?”

Mo’unga delivered a first Group One victory for trainer Annabel Neasham, who is only six months into her solo training career.

“You always dream of these moments and winning these races, and he’s an incredible horse,” Neasham said. “I just can’t thank the Fung family (owners) enough. It’s just unreal that they’ve given me an opportunity with horses like this.

“I can’t believe it. I’m a bit speechless, to be honest. We’ll enjoy this one, and work out next week whether we go to the Derby or the Doncaster next.”

Just like last weekend’s Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m) heroine Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel), Mo’unga was bred and sold by Waikato Stud and represents the exceptional cross between champion sire Savabeel and a broodmare by the late, great O’Reilly (NZ).

Mo’unga is part-owned by his namesake, All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga, who is donating prize-money to charity.

“This horse was a November foal, which was the same time Richie came into the All Blacks team,” Aquis Farm’s Shane McGrath said. “And Dan Carter, who was another All Black, was part of the team who raced the mother Chandelier (NZ).”


Waikato Stud


Aquis Farm (Queensland)


Savabeel – Chandelier


Lot 631, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $325,000

Bred by

Waikato Stud