Tutukaka (NZ) Follows in Sister’s Footsteps

28 June 2021

Blue-blooded Tutukaka (NZ) claims first stakes victory at Eagle Farm. Photo: Ross Stevenson 

With a runaway victory in Saturday’s A$125,000 Listed Tattersall’s Life Member Stakes (1830m) at Eagle Farm, blue-blooded Karaka graduate Tutukaka (NZ) (Tavistock) delivered a tantalising taste of what could lie ahead in his three-year-old season. 

A half-brother to fellow Karaka graduate and two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Tutukaka was a $250,000 purchase by Pike Racing from Haunui Farm’s draft at Karaka 2020. His four starts as a two-year-old this season have produced a win, three placings and more than $100,000 in stakes.

After a strong-finishing third at Listed level over 1500 metres in his previous start, Tutukaka was expected to relish the extra distance on Saturday and was sent out as a dominant $1.40 favourite.

Jockey Michael Cahill had him cruising just behind the longshot leader Kaytee Reinado (Real Impact), then moved up alongside that runner as the small field approached the home turn.

Tutukaka thrust his head in front and the top of the straight and quickly took control of the race from there, opening up a commanding four-length margin on his outclassed opponents.

Saturday’s victory was a triumphant end to a Queensland campaign that Cambridge trainer Tony Pike devised as a way of testing the Australian waters ahead of a more ambitious spring targeted at the A$2m Group One Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 30.

“This was the race he came here for,” assistant trainer Chris McNab said. “Tony had this race in mind at the end of this campaign, and then it’s all about heading to Melbourne for the spring.

“The horse relaxed beautifully today. We just told Michael to take bad luck out of the equation and get him to relax outside the leader. It was a slow pace, but an even one.

“That was a very good performance and we couldn’t be happier. Now he’ll fly home to New Zealand on Tuesday next week.”

Vendor Haunui Farm
Purchaser Pike Racing (Waikato)
Breeding Tavistock – Meleka Belle
Sale Lot 86, Karaka 2020 Book 1, $250,000
Bred by Mrs N M Leicester