Oaks Triumph Heads Karaka Graduates’ Big Weekend

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock Sales delivered a series of notable victories across the Tasman on Friday and Saturday, none more significant than a Group 1 triumph in Adelaide by Toffee Tongue (NZ) (Tavistock).


Blue-Blooded Toffee Tongue (NZ) Shines in Oaks

Group 1 triumph for Toffee Tongue (NZ). Photo: Atkins Photography
Group 1 triumph for Toffee Tongue (NZ). Photo: Atkins Photography

The exploits of three siblings created massive demand for Toffee Tongue (NZ) (Tavistock) at Karaka 2018, but a superb victory in Saturday’s A$400,000 Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville has ensured that her value now dwarfs her $500,000 purchase price.

By high-class sire Tavistock out of champion broodmare Bagalollies (Zabeel), Toffee Tongue is a full-sister to the multiple Group 1 winner and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (NZ) (Tavistock).

That celebrated champion provided another Group 2 victory and multiple Group 1 placings as late pedigree updates in the lead-up to Karaka 2018, while fellow full-siblings Gobstopper (NZ) (Tavistock) and Milseain (NZ) (Tavistock) also rose to prominence after the catalogue went to print. Gobstopper won the $250,000 New Zealand Cup (3200m), while Milseain placed in multiple black-type events including the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

On Saturday, Toffee Tongue added her own name to the family’s growing roll of honour.

Perfectly ridden by Damien Thornton, the highly talented filly settled in the second half of the field and hugged the running rail. She was more than half a dozen lengths from the leaders coming up to the home turn, but Thornton never panicked.

Toffee Tongue drove through an opening along the inside in the straight and raced clear, scoring by a length and three-quarters from Moonlight Maid (Puissance de Lune) and Affair to Remember (Toronado).

The Oaks was the first career victory for Toffee Tongue, but she had placed in five of her previous eight starts. She finished second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) during last month’s Championships at Randwick.

“I felt she was always improving,” trainer Chris Waller told AAP. "Her run in the Adrian Knox Stakes was great, and her run in the Australian Oaks was brilliant. She perhaps should have finished at least a bit closer. It's great to get the Group 1 with her.

“She has got the breeding to be a really good horse. She is a sister to Werther, a Hong Kong Horse of the Year and a Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner.

“It was 2000 metres today, but 2400 metres is certainly not a negative."

Carrying the colours of Pinecliff Racing, Toffee Tongue has earned A$413,000 in stakes and is now worth significantly more.

This was the second consecutive Schweppes Oaks victory for a Karaka graduate, following on from the $120,000 purchase Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral) 12 months ago.

Vendor Highden Park
Purchaser Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock
Breeding Tavistock – Bagalollies
Sale Lot 48, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $500,000
Bred by C D Allison, C V & J A Barnao, A R Campbell, T G Heptinstall, T M Pivac & D R Platt


Oceanex (NZ) Outclasses Cup Rivals

Oceanex (NZ) claims Port Adelaide Cup. Photo: Atkins Photography
Oceanex (NZ) claims Port Adelaide Cup. Photo: Atkins Photography

With an easy victory in Saturday’s A$100,000 Listed Dominant Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) at Morphettville, the $70,000 Karaka purchase Oceanex (NZ) (Ocean Park) added to an excellent season and took her career earnings to the brink of A$500,000.

Trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr for a big group of owners, Oceanex had previously bolstered her broodmare value with a strong win in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during November’s Melbourne Cup carnival.

She met an easier field on Saturday and again showed her class, trailing the frontrunning Sopressa (So You Think) and overpowering her in the straight to score an emphatic win by a length and three-quarters.

“She had to do a little bit of work in the first 1200 metres and had no cover throughout,” Price told NZ Racing Desk. “I thought it was a good display of stamina at her first try at 2500 metres.”

Oceanex has now had 17 starts for five wins, seven placings and A$483,770 in stakes – more than seven times her purchase price.

Price and Kent may now send Oceanex back to Flemington for the Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) on May 16. The winner of that A$320,000 race earns a place in the field for the Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November.

“Serious consideration will have to be given to that race, but I’ll get her home and have a look,” Price said.

“There is a picture forming on her that she can race for another season and she’s developing a nice little page. I think consideration should be given to providing her with a proper opportunity to become a nice stayer.

“There are a few things to consider, but the pleasing thing is that at her first try at 2500 metres she was quite strong.”

Vendor Milan Park
Purchaser Mick Price Racing
Breeding Ocean Park – Danex
Sale Lot 116, 2017 Premier Sale, $70,000
Bred by T V Rider


 Valuable Victory for House of Cartier (NZ)

House of Cartier (NZ) (pictured as a yearling) too good in Wagga Wagga Gold Cup.
House of Cartier (NZ) (pictured as a yearling) too good in Wagga Wagga Gold Cup.

Well-related Karaka graduate House of Cartier (NZ) (Alamosa) recorded the biggest win of her career in Friday’s A$160,000 Listed Navigate Advisors Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) in New South Wales.

Sent forward by jockey Jess Taylor approaching the home turn, the 4-year-old mare accelerated powerfully in the straight and opened up a commanding lead.

Despite tiring in the last 100 metres, the John Sargent-trained mare fought hard to hold out the late-finishing Maurus (Medicean) by half a length.

“Great win by House of Cartier in the Wagga Cup,” John Sargent Racing tweeted. “Boom!”

Raced by co-breeders Bill Gleeson and Peter Gillespie, House of Cartier has now had 21 starts for four wins, four placings and $290,160 in stakes. She was passed in at the 2017 Premier Sale at Karaka with a reserve of $250,000.

This was the first black-type win for House of Cartier, who had previously placed in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) and Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m).

Friday’s stakes success carries significance far beyond its prize-money. House of Cartier is a daughter of the four-time Group 1 winner Shez Sinsational (NZ) (Ekraar), who is also the dam of this year’s Listed New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) winner Sinarahma (NZ) (Darci Brahma).

Vendor Wellfield Lodge
Breeding Alamosa – Shez Sinsational
Sale Lot 402, 2017 Premier Sale, Psd (Res $250,000)
Bred by Mr WJ Gleeson, Pee Gee Bloodstock, Nearco Stud Ltd