Rutten Strikes Again With Welcome Stakes Triumph

15 November 2020

Over the last seven years, Chris Rutten’s trips to Karaka have produced multiple Group One victories, a Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), a Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), and two New Zealand Champion Two-Year-Old awards. He might have unearthed another age-group star in 2020.

Rutten’s white and navy-blue colours were carried to a slick victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Frantic Bloodstock Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton by Avonallo (NZ) (Belardo), who he bought for $30,000 from Little Avondale Stud’s draft in Book 2 of Karaka 2020.

Avonallo joins a Rutten roll of honour that also features:

  • Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City), who he bought for $34,000 at the 2013 Select Sale. Voted New Zealand’s Champion Two-Year-Old of 2013-14, Vespa won seven races and more than $910,000 in stakes. He won the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and the Group One Diamond Stakes (1200m).
  • Scott Base (NZ) (Dalghar), who was a $70,000 purchase from the 2016 Select Sale. His five-win career netted $736,750, headed by the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
  • Yourdeel (NZ) (Dundeel), a $100,000 recruit from Book 1 of Karaka 2018. He amassed more than $375,000 with victories in the Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m) and Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), along with a third placing in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m). He followed in Vespa’s footsteps and also earned the title of Champion Two-Year-Old.

Avonallo earned his place in this group with an impressive performance in Saturday’s Welcome Stakes, the first stakes race for two-year-olds in New Zealand this season.

After sitting outside the front-running favourite Follow Your Dreams (NZ) (Contributer), the colt outsprinted that previously undefeated rival in the straight. Ridden by champion jockey Opie Bosson, Avonallo drove clear for a commanding two-length victory.

This was the first win of Avonallo’s three-start career, having finished second behind Follow Your Dreams in both of his previous appearances. He has now earned $33,750 in stakes.

“He’s kept improving,” star trainer Jamie Richards said. “When a baby like him keeps putting on weight well into their preparation, it’s always a good sign.

“He’s never left any feed the whole way through and it has all come together at the right time. He’s a very athletic horse who has a lot of scope and there is more improvement to come.”

Avonallo could give Rutten a shot at a third Karaka Million victory, with Richards now targeting the DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO at Ellerslie on January 23.

“Opie and Jamie have both done a great job, so credit to them,” Rutten said on Saturday. “This is great fun, and we know our way to Karaka Million night, so we’ll be there.”

Avonallo delivered a notable result for Haunui Farm, becoming the first southern hemisphere winner and stakes winner for their shuttle stallion Belardo.

Welcome Stakes runner-up Follow Your Dreams is also a Karaka graduate. He was bought for $24,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2020, and his three-start career has produced two wins and $32,250 in stakes.

View the 2021 DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) Order of Entry online here


Little Avondale Stud


Chris Rutten Bloodstock (Wellington)


Belardo – Real Angel


Lot 816, Karaka 2020 Book 2, $30,000

Bred by

Little Avondale Trust