Savaglee (NZ) Superb in Slipper

26 February 2024

Savaglee (NZ) pictured as a yearling. 

A quality family that has produced multiple black-type successes by Karaka graduates this season struck again with Savaglee (NZ) (Savabeel) in Saturday’s $100,000 Group Three Fairview Matamata Slipper (1200m).

Closely related to the standout three-year-old filly Orchestral (NZ) (Savabeel), Savaglee was a $400,000 purchase by The Oaks Stud from Waikato Stud’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2023. From five starts, Savaglee has recorded two wins and a third, banking $115,450.

Savaglee is out of Glee (NZ) (O’Reilly), whose stakes-placed full-sister Symphonic (NZ) (O’Reilly) is the dam of the dominant $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) and Group Two Avondale Guineas (2100m) winner Orchestral. Another three-quarter-sister is Spring (NZ) (O’Reilly), the dam of multiple Group One winner and black-type producer Daffodil (NZ) (No Excuse Needed).

Those bloodlines and that $400,000 purchase price were a lot to live up to for Savaglee, but the colt made an outstanding start with a blistering four-length win on debut in October. He was unlucky in three subsequent appearances, including a fifth in the $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m), but turned his fortunes around in style in Saturday’s Slipper.

Settling in midfield for jockey Sam Spratt, Savaglee began to build momentum after rounding the turn into the home straight. Front-running fellow Karaka graduate Poetic Champion (NZ) (Super Seth) had kicked clear and opened up an ominous margin, but Savaglee’s sharp turn of foot allowed him to sprint up alongside that rival and outfinish him through the final 50 metres to win by half a length.

“He was really good and had a good turn of foot,” Spratt said. “He travelled beautifully on the bit and did everything really well.”

The win put a spring in the step of The Oaks Stud’s general manager Rick Williams.

“It’s great to win a stakes race here at Matamata, especially being a colt and winning what has become a stallion-making race,” he said. “We paid a lot of money for him, he’s a lovely horse and Sam gave him a great ride.”

Gerard was relieved to see Savaglee make a well-deserved return to winning form.

“I’m very grateful to Rick Williams and The Oaks Stud for giving us the opportunity to train such a lovely colt,” she said. “It comes with a little bit of pressure – we realise how much they put into it and that they have plans for this colt, who was sensational winning on debut and has now won again after racing so well in the Karaka Millions. Hopefully between us in New Zealand and Mike in Australia, we can get the results they want.

“He’s a Savabeel colt that is still getting there, but he’s shown very good ability. He learned a lot from Karaka Millions night and sat beautifully before showing a really good turn of foot today.

“We can’t wait to get him up over 1400 metres and hopefully keep the good results coming.”

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser The Oaks Stud (Waikato)
Breeding Savabeel – Glee
Sale Lot 210, Karaka 2023 Book 1, $400,000
Bred by Waikato Stud Ltd