Sanibel (NZ) Snares Black Type Spoils in Tauranga Classic

27 June 2022

Sanibel (NZ) wins the $60,000 Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m).

Four years after teaming up with bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo to buy Sanibel (NZ) (Shamexpress) for $45,000 at Karaka, Woodville trainer Shane Brown achieved a dream result with an immensely valuable victory in Saturday’s $60,000 Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m). 

Selected from JK Farm’s draft in Book 2 of Karaka 2018, Sanibel has now had 31 starts for four wins, four placings and $85,767 in stakes – plus the far greater value of black type on her pedigree page.

“This is just a super result for us, and it sets her up for a broodmare career when she eventually retires,” Brown told NZ Racing Desk.

“My partner Amy (Ames-Durey) and I own 50% of her, and for battlers like us, it means so much to win a stakes race.

“I have been guilty in the past of running her in the wrong type of races – she seems to go best on the fresh side and over 1400 metres.

“I knew she was a big winning chance halfway down the straight, and it’s fair to say I cheered her home pretty hard in that last 200 metres.”

The five-year-old mare went into Saturday’s fillies and mares’ feature as a last-start winner in Rating 65 grade at Trentham on May 28. She faced a significant step up in class at Tauranga, but she rose to the occasion with an outstanding last-to-first performance.

Sanibel appeared to be struggling coming down the side of the track and dropped back to a clear last with 600 metres to run, but then rider Kate Hercock began to bring her forward out wide on the track. She swooped around the outside coming up to the turn, and she loomed as a major threat down the outside of the home straight.

Sanibel changed gears and charged through the testing heavy ground, bounding to the lead and going clear to win by a length and a quarter from fellow Karaka graduate So Gorgeous (NZ) (So You Think), with classy favourite Jodelin Gal (NZ) (Swiss Ace) back in third.

“She wasn’t travelling well and they were laying all over her,” Hercock said. “I thought we would run last at one stage, but when we got clear she just took off, and we got into contention pretty quickly approaching the turn.

“I had a lot of confidence in her, because her work had been impeccable since she won at Trentham.

“It’s a really special win for me. Shane and his partner Amy have supported me all the way through since I made my comeback to riding, so to win a race like this for them is very memorable.”

Sanibel has a quality pedigree page, being one of three winners out of the Kaapstad mare Margaux Belle (NZ), who is an unraced half-sister to the Group One winner Veloce Bella (NZ) (Volksraad).

Meanwhile, Saturday’s runner-up So Gorgeous was a $120,000 purchase by Marsh Racing from the Book 1 draft of Haunui Farm at Karaka 2019. She has picked up three wins and two placings from just 13 starts to date, earning just under $50,000 and a valuable stakes placing.

Vendor JK Farm
Purchaser Phill Cataldo Bloodstock (BAFNZ) / Shane Brown (Wellington)
Breeding Shamexpress – Margaux Belle
Sale Lot 905, Karaka 2018 Book 2, $45,000
Bred by The Sunlight Trust