Slick Stakes Win for Exciting 2YO

7 May 2024

Super Photon (NZ). Photo: Race Images South

Blue-blooded Karaka graduate Super Photon (NZ) (Super Seth) won Saturday’s $80,000 Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa with a performance to match his pedigree and reputation.

It was the second win of a two-start career for Super Photon, who has so far banked $55,520. He was bought for $380,000 from the Karaka 2023 Book 1 draft of his breeders Waikato Stud.

Super Photon is the second stakes winner for Waikato’s boom first-season sire Super Seth, whose fellow Karaka graduate Linebacker (NZ) (Super Seth) has been a Group Three winner in Sydney and placed at Group One level. Super Seth’s yearlings sold for up to $700,000 at Karaka 2024 earlier this year.

Super Photon is out of the Group Three-placed mare Chandelier (NZ) (O’Reilly), who is also the dam of multiple Group One winner and stallion prospect Mo’unga (NZ) (Savabeel).

Those bloodlines and purchase price are not easy to live up to, but Super Photon showed a touch of X-factor with a dominant come-from-behind victory on debut at Rotorua last month.

He took a big step up from 1150 metres to 1400 metres for his second start on Saturday, and came up against black-type opposition for the first time. But once again he passed the test.

Rider Michael McNab settled Super Photon in fourth before moving up on the outside of the leaders at the home turn. McNab revved him up in the straight and he strode to the front, pulling ahead of gallant runner-up Renovations (NZ) (Ardrossan) to win by a length and a half.

“He’s a beautiful horse,” McNab said. “I trialled him a few weeks ago and just fell in love with him and everything about him. I was suspended when he won on debut, but I was lucky enough that the connections gave me the ride back and he was really good today.

“I thought the speed might be a bit more genuine, but we walked and he was overdoing it for a while before he came back to me nicely. He found a kick in the straight, but was struggling in that wet ground, so it was a big effort to win.”

Super Photon is trained by Stephen Marsh for group of owners including American investors and co-purchasers Bourbon Lane Stables and Dennis Foster, who was represented at Te Rapa on Saturday by bloodstock agent Dylan Johnson.

“That was outstanding,” Johnson said. “You’re always a bit nervous when you saddle up these sorts of colts. We knew going up to 1400 metres today was a bit of a stretch in just his second start. But he’s a very classy colt, extremely well bred and a beautiful style of horse, so to see that performance today was very exciting.

“He’s still so new to it and he’s far from the finished article. Whatever he did as a two-year-old was always just going to be a bonus. Once he gets up to a mile and really learns his craft, he’s going to be pretty dangerous.”

Super Photon and Saturday’s Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) winner Discretion Rules (Alabama Express) became this season’s seventh and eighth stakes-winning two-year-olds to come out of Karaka 2023.

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser Stephen Marsh Racing/Dennis Foster/Bourbon Lane/Dylan Johnson Bloodstock (Waikato)
Breeding Super Seth – Chandelier
Sale Lot 91, Karaka 2023 Book 1, $380,000
Bred by Waikato Stud Ltd