Prise De Fer (NZ) Powers Home in Eagle Technology Stakes

27 November 2022

Prise Der Fer winning
Prise de Fer (NZ) winning the G3 Eagle Technology Stakes. Photo: Race Images

Te Akau Racing’s big-race warhorse Prise De Fer (NZ) (Savabeel) took his career earnings past $650,000 with a spectacular come-from-behind performance in Saturday’s $85,000 Group Three Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa.

Bought by David Ellis CNZM for $100,000 from the 2017 Premier Sale at Karaka, the seven-year-old has now had 38 starts for 10 wins, nine seconds, six thirds and $651,100 in stakes for the Te Akau En Garde Syndicate.

Although he had scored previous black-type wins in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m), Group Three Taranaki Cup (1800m) and Group Three Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m), Prise De Fer has earned himself a reputation for being a big-race bridesmaid. He has recorded no fewer than 10 minor placings in feature races, five of them at Group One level.

Those top-level exploits have earned Prise De Fer a rating of 102, which would set him a near-impossible task in any handicap races. But the set weights and penalties conditions of Saturday’s race suited him perfectly, slotting in at just 1kg over the minimum weight, and Prise De Fer took care of the rest.

Patiently ridden by former champion South African apprentice jockey Craig Zackey, Prise De Fer was still at the rear of the field as he swung around the home turn into the straight.

But Zackey angled his mount to the outside and flicked the switch, and Prise De Fer went into full flight. He bounded past almost a dozen rivals with ease, striding to the lead inside the final 100 metres.

Quality mare Sinarahma (NZ) (Darci Brahma) flashed through along the inside to provide a late scare, but Prise De Fer fought her off by a short head.

“That was a really good effort,” premiership-leading trainer Mark Walker said. “Horses like this can be tough to place at times – they are at the top of the handicaps – but this race worked out great today.

“Full credit to David Ellis. The stable has had five winners today, and he has bought four of them at Karaka. He and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) put in the hard work, going and buying these horses on spec and syndicating them.

“The horse really deserves this. He’s been all around it in the Group Ones without quite winning one. He is getting a bit older now, and that makes it tougher, but he is a real stable favourite and this was great work from him today. You never know – if he pulls up well from this, he may turn up in the Captain Cook Stakes (Group One, 1600m) at Trentham next weekend.”

Zackey was full of praise for his mount, who was narrowly beaten in the Group Two Tauranga Stakes (1600m) earlier in the month.

“He is a superstar,” Zackey said. “He was getting a bit crowded and bumped around down the back and the pace was on, so I just tried to save as much energy as we could before I hooked him out and said, ‘Come on – this is what we do.’ He has come home and produced. He did all the work, and this will give him some real confidence. He is a lovely-natured horse, and he is definitely not stopping with this.”

Vendor Trelawney Stud Ltd
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Foiled
Sale Lot 168, 2017 Premier Sale, $100,000
Bred by Raffles Dancers (NZ) Pty Ltd