Tokorangi (NZ) Turns Fortunes Around in Guineas

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Tokotangi (NZ) claims the Group Two $100,000 Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa. 

Bad luck and flying finishes have been a recurring theme for $30,000 Karaka Book 2 purchase Tokorangi (NZ) (Redwood), but she turned a frustrating season around with a valuable and impressive Group Two win in Saturday’s $100,000 Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa. 

Trained by Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard at Matamata for a big and enthusiastic group of owners, Tokorangi has now won two of her eight starts and more than $90,000 – three times her purchase price.

Tokorangi was a precocious two-year-old talent last season, leading all the way for a brilliant six-length win over 1100 metres at Matamata. But her career has gone in a different direction as a three-year-old, transforming into a staying type of filly who routinely flashes home from the back with the fastest late sectionals in the field.

Saturday was finally her day, positioned more handily in midfield by jockey Andrew Calder and poised to pounce coming up to the home turn.

She again produced that slick turn of foot in the straight, bounding to the lead and stretching out powerfully to win by three-quarters of a length. Front-running Zee Falls (NZ) (Sacred Falls) held on for second, with Perfect Scenario (NZ) (Iffraaj) finding the line well for third.

“This filly has a great group of owners who have been waiting a long time for this,” Gerard said. “She’s shown a lot of promise all the way through, although it’s been a bit frustrating at times. With the 2000 metres today, she’s shown them what she can do.

“The owners have had to be so patient, especially since she was a two-year-old who came out running so quickly early on. She’s come back as a real stayer as a three-year-old, she wants to get off the bit and takes a bit longer to get going. The owners’ patience has been rewarded today.”

It was third time lucky for Calder, whose two previous rides on Tokorangi produced an unlucky fifth in the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) and a fast-finishing fourth in the Group One Levin Classic (1600m).

“I really appreciate the connections sticking with me,” Calder said. “She’s been a bit unlucky this season, but she has plenty of ability. She was nice and quiet before the start today, and she travelled well and came up under me beautifully when I gave her a click coming down the side. She put them away pretty impressively in the end.

“I’ve always said to the owners, ‘Just wait till she gets up over a bit more ground.’ She’s done that today and they’ve got a great result.”

Keith McDonald, who manages the Savvy Racing Steelers Syndicate that part-owns the star filly, was overjoyed with Saturday’s win.

“It’s party time,” he said. “Hats off to Pam and everyone at Ballymore for all their tireless work, and I’m so grateful to everyone in the Savvy Racing syndicate who have stuck with us since day one. Many of them are here today to celebrate this win.”

Tokorangi became the 135th individual stakes winner bought by Paul Moroney, who reported on Twitter that this filly was found by his partner Catheryne.

Waikato Guineas placegetters Zee Falls and Perfect Scenario are also Karaka graduates, bought for $130,000 and $165,000 respectively from Book 1 of Karaka 2019.

Vendor

Bradbury Park

Purchaser

Paul Moroney Bloodstock / Ballymore Stables NZ

Breeding

Redwood – Agent Ziva

Sale

Lot 994, Karaka 2019 Book 2, $30,000

Bred by

C R & Mrs G D Dando