Stakes Successes for Ready to Run Graduates

Monday, August 24, 2020

Excelling (Manhattan Rain) claimed the Listed Merlion Trophy (1200m) at Kranji.
Excelling (Manhattan Rain) claimed the Listed Merlion Trophy (1200m) at Kranji.

Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale played starring roles in Sunday’s feature races in Singapore and Macau.

Merlion Trophy Triumph for Excelling

Sunday’s S$250,000 Listed Merlion Trophy (1200m) at Kranji produced a big result for the $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale purchase Excelling (Manhattan Rain).

With his first win at stakes level, the six-year-old lifted his career earnings past S$308,752. That’s the equivalent of NZ$343,650, which is almost seven times his purchase price.

Excelling was ridden by A'Isisuhairi Kasim on Sunday for trainer Lee Freedman. After breaking well from an inside gate, he hugged the rail and stalked the leaders up to the home turn.

Angled out into clear air in the straight, Excelling quickened brilliantly and burst to the front. The favourite Bold Thruster (Turffontein) chased hard but couldn’t catch Excelling, who held on by half a length in a time of 1:10.21.

“Mr Freedman actually didn’t like barrier number one,” A’Isisuhairi said. “He told me he’d leave it to me, but he would prefer I jump and get cover.

“I didn’t want to go forward. When I saw the speed battle in front, with Bold Thruster caught four wide, I was happy my own horse was travelling relaxed.

“Bold Thruster is such a good horse that he can kick again, but all I needed for my horse was to see daylight at the right time. The way he was travelling, if I could get the run, I believed he could kick home.

“As soon as I found the gap, he quickened through nicely, but I was a bit worried when I saw Bold Thruster on the outside. I asked myself, ‘will I get this race?’, but luckily, my horse kept going.”

Excelling began his career in Australia, where he collected two wins and two placings from eight starts before he relocated to Singapore. He has now had a total of 18 starts for seven wins, two seconds and two thirds.

This year’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale will be held at Karaka on 18 and 19 November, with Breeze Ups conducted at Te Rapa Racecourse on 12 and 13 October. The catalogue will be out in mid-September.


Select Sale: Hyde Park
Ready to Run Sale: Riversley Park Ltd

Purchaser Ready to Run Sale: Pride Racing (New South Wales)
Breeding Manhattan Rain – Princess Ruhie
Sale Lot 481, 2016 Select Sale, Psd (Res $80,000)
Lot 429, 2016 Ready to Run Sale, $50,000
Bred by Mr PG Wells & Mr R Wells


Sacred Capital Defends Macau Gold Cup Crown

Sacred Capital (NZ) wins back-to-back Macau Gold Cups.
Sacred Capital (NZ) wins back-to-back Macau Gold Cups.

Karaka graduate and elite Macau galloper Sacred Capital (NZ) (O’Reilly) has gone back-to-back in the M$800,000 Macau Gold Cup (1800m), repeating his emphatic victory in the same race 12 months ago.

It was Sacred Capital’s fifth win at black-type level, and his career earnings have now swelled beyond M$5 million – the equivalent of NZ$955,000. He was a $580,000 purchase from the draft of breeder Waikato Stud at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.

Sacred Capital had to overcome a wide draw on Sunday, but jockey Peter Ho urged him forward in the early stages of the race. By the time the field reached the finish line with a lap to go, he had moved up to fourth spot and sat one off the rail.

Heading down the back straight, Sacred Capital slid even further forward. By the time he rounded the home turn, Star of Yiu Cheung (Casino Prince) was the only horse in front of him.

That rival provided stiff resistance all of the way down the home straight, but Sacred Capital dug deep and wore him down to prevail in a photo finish.

Trained by Joe Lau for owners Chen Ching Lung and Dato Yap Kim San, Sacred Capital has won 10 of his 23 starts. In addition to his two Gold Cup triumphs, he has also won the Macau Derby (1800m), Chairman Memorial Cup (1200m) and Macau Spring Trophy (1500m).

Vendor Waikato Stud 
Purchaser Ciaron Maher Bloodstock/Bruce Perry Bloodstock/Waterford Bloodstock (Victoria)
Breeding O’Reilly – Honolulu
Sale Lot 263, 2016 Ready to Run Sale, $580,000
Bred by Waikato Stud