Outstanding Atishu (NZ) Breaks $4m Barrier

4 March 2024

Atishu (NZ)
Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Elite Karaka graduate Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel) took her earnings past $4m with another stellar performance in Saturday’s A$300,000 Group Two Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Syndicators Go Racing paid $260,000 to buy Atishu from the Book 1 draft of breeders Waikato Stud at Karaka 2019. She has now had 39 starts for 10 wins, 12 placings and A$3.9m in stakes – the equivalent of NZ$4.17m.

Atishu was a dual Group One winner in last year’s Champions Stakes (2000m) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), and she brought her A-game again in Saturday’s Blamey.

Carrying the second-highest weight in the 14-horse field under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race, Atishu was ridden closer to the speed than usual and settled in fifth for jockey Blake Shinn.

Shinn angled the six-year-old across heels and presented her on the outside of the leaders at the 400-metre mark, and she dashed past them and took the race by the scruff of the neck.

Atishu kept up a strong gallop all the way to the finish line, winning by three-quarters of a length from Holymanz (NZ) (Almanzor) and fellow Karaka graduate Ayrton (NZ) (Iffraaj) in a New Zealand-bred trifecta.

“I had a bit of luck to get in the position we ended up in, and the rest was history,” Shinn said. “I thought the race was ours to win. She was never going to lose, and the more I asked her, the more she responded. It was a great effort.”

Atishu is trained by Chris Waller, who was represented at Flemington by assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth.

“We know she’s had her share of issues in the barriers, and as a result we have always been riding her a little bit conservatively and she has been finishing off so well from that position,” he said.

“I was a little bit concerned when he (Shinn) was so assertive out of the gates, but she looked to get into a lovely rhythm and travelled tractably in that position. Blake was very soft on her up until the concluding stages, when he had to ask her to lift.

“She is a genuine Group One performer and she absolutely loves it here at Flemington. We’re delighted to get the win. She is obviously a valuable horse and the main thing is she is racing in a rich vein of form.

“If you can get her to travel and switch off and do everything right, then she has got a wicked turn of foot. We have seen that time and time again at Flemington, and hopefully it can continue for a good while more.”

Atishu was part of an outstanding day for Waikato Stud’s super-sire Savabeel, who also had a major double at Ellerslie with his three-year-old fillies – Orchestral (NZ) in the $1m Group One Trackside New Zealand Derby (2400m) and Certainly (NZ) in the $150,000 Group Three Mainstream Plumbing Mufhasa Stakes (1400m).

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser Go Racing (Auckland)
Breeding Savabeel – Posy
Sale Lot 316, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $260,000
Bred by Waikato Stud Ltd

Photo: Bruno Cannatelli