Turn The Ace (NZ) Heads Karaka Trifecta at Te Rapa

10 May 2021

Turn the Ace (NZ) claims the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1100m). Photo: Trish Dunell

Karaka graduates fought out the finish of a talent-packed edition of the $50,000 Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa on Saturday, with Turn the Ace (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) prevailing to keep his perfect record intact. 

Bought for $30,000 from Cambridge Stud’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2020, Turn the Ace has now had two starts for two wins and $39,156 in stakes. Runner-up Rangi Toa (NZ) (Shamexpress) was a $105,000 purchase from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale, while third-placed Beldarra (Hinchinbrook) cost $115,000 in Book 1 of Karaka 2020.

Turn the Ace made his debut only last Saturday with an impressive win over 1200 metres at Te Rapa, and seven days later he has backed up and delivered again at blacktype level.

Ridden by Ryan Elliot, the gelding slid forward to sit outside the front-running Rangi Toa, then moved up to challenge him as they rounded the home turn.

At the end of a superb battle down the straight between two undefeated two-year-olds, Turn the Ace reached his neck out at the crucial time to grab victory by a short head.

“The runner-up is a very good horse and was unbeaten coming into it, and he had us off the bit at the 100-metre mark,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said. “To his credit, our horse really dug deep and found the line.

“He’s a big, rangy horse who’s going to really benefit from a bit more time to mature. Ryan said he’s a lovely horse, just quite green and still very new to the whole thing. He just got there on ability. He’ll go out for a break now, head to the paddock on Monday and freshen up before we aim him at some spring three-year-old races.”

Notably, Turn the Ace has delivered both the first win and the first stakes win for Windsor Park stallion Turn Me Loose (NZ) (Iffraaj), who himself was a $52,500 purchase at the 2013 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.

Also trained by Forsman in his outstanding partnership with Murray Baker, Turn Me Loose won seven races and more than $1.6 million, including Group One victories in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, the Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

A sire with a bright future ahead of him, Turn Me Loose has one colt in the catalogue at New Zealand Bloodstock's National Weanling Sale at Karaka on Friday 14 May.

“The win today was very special for sentimental reasons, being a son of Turn Me Loose, who Murray and I also trained,” Forsman said. “It was great to get his first winner last week, and for him to back up and win a stakes race today was a massive result.

“We’ve had a few of Turn Me Loose’s progeny through the stable, and we couldn’t speak more highly of them. They’re lovely horses – strong and with very good temperaments. They’ll just take a bit of time to mature. I think he’s a sire with heaps of potential.”

Vendor Cambridge Stud
Purchaser Mr AC Forsman (Waikato)
Breeding Turn Me Loose – Frescoes
Sale Lot 609, Karaka 2020 Book 1, $30,000
Bred by The Sunlight Trust