Sophmaze (NZ) Shines in Castletown

7 June 2022

Sophmaze (NZ) claims the $60,000 Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Waverley. Photo: Race Images

Karaka graduates filled all of the first three placings in Saturday’s $60,000 Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Waverley, headed by a breakthrough performance by the ever-improving filly Sophmaze (NZ) (Derryn). 

The first stakes winner for first-season Grangewilliam Stud sire Derryn, Sophmaze was a $50,000 purchase from Book 2 of Karaka 2021. She has now had four starts for two wins, two placings and $45,060 in stakes.

A third placegetter in both of her first two appearances, Sophmaze took a big step forward with a maiden victory at Trentham on May 21. Saturday’s Castletown Stakes presented a tougher challenge, but once again she rose to the occasion.

Ridden by Lisa Allpress, Sophmaze sat back in the rear half of the field before unleashing a powerful finish out wide in the home straight. She swept past her rivals and went out to a clear lead, bounding away to win by two and a quarter lengths.

“I said during the week I hadn’t seen a filly improve as much as she has since that Trentham win,” trainer and part-owner Allan Sharrock said.

“She was suffering with her shins for her first two starts, but she was right at Trentham, and today she has taken another big step in good style. She came from quite a tricky position in running to dash away from them, so there is plenty to look forward to with her.

“She can have a week off now and then we will get her ready for the Ryder Stakes (1200m). She is such a versatile customer and she handles most track conditions, so I think she can feature in some of those early three-year-old races in the spring. She will definitely get up to a mile as a three-year-old, so a race like the Eulogy Stakes (1600m) later in the year is also a target we will look at.”

Sophmaze has some quality pedigree credentials behind her, being out of the stakes-placed mare Miss Isle (NZ) (Bachelor Duke). A five-time winner, Miss Isle is also a half-sister to multiple Group One winner Levante (NZ) (Proisir) and to Doyenne (NZ) (Kilimanjaro), the stakes-placed dam of Group One winner Maven Belle (NZ) (Burgundy).

The second placegetter in Saturday’s Castletown Stakes was Miss Nico Belle (Nicconi), who was a $90,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2021 and has placed in all of her three starts to date. Third placegetter Channel Surfer (NZ) (Derryn) was bought for $50,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2021.

Vendor Grangewilliam Stud
Purchaser Mr SA Sharrock (Taranaki)
Breeding Derryn – Miss Isle
Sale Lot 894, Karaka 2021 Book 2, $50,000
Bred by Grangewilliam Stud