South Island Accolades for Karaka Graduates
25 October 2021
South Island racing’s standout performers over the last 12 months were recognised this week in the 2020-21 Christchurch Casino South Island Racing Awards, and Karaka graduates Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel) and Our Boy Ritchie (NZ) (He’s Remarkable) each played a starring role.
Atishu had already been confirmed as the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year, winning two of the four races in the Series and amassing an impressive 14 points. But the outstanding filly has now also been named the South Island’s overall Champion Three-Year-Old for last season.
Bought by owners Go Racing for $260,000 from Waikato Stud’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2019, Atishu ventured south in the autumn after a Listed placing in the North Island earlier in the season. The Stephen Marsh-trained runner made a massive impression at Riccarton Park, scoring back-to-back victories in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) and the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m).
Atishu has subsequently been transferred into the Sydney stable of Chris Waller and has continued to shine, winning two races including the A$160,000 Group Three Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick. She has earned more than $250,000 in prize-money to date.
Our Boy Ritchie, meanwhile, was named last season’s Champion Stayer. Owner-trainer Kelvin Tyler paid $8000 to buy him from Mapperley Stud at the 2017 Festival Sale, and the gelding won five races last season headed by a home-track triumph in Listed Riverton Cup (2147m) on April 3. His total earnings for the 2020-21 season were in excess of $77,000.