Wolverine (NZ) Maintains Perfect Record in Eclipse

2 January 2022

Wolverine (NZ)  wins the Group Two Eclipse Stakes in a thriller.

Saturday’s $120,000 Group Two First Global Logistics Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie attracted arguably one of the strongest fields in the race’s recent history, and for the third time from three starts, flying filly Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) came out on top.

Bought for $50,000 by trainer Roydon Bergerson and part-owner Chris Rutten from Book 1 of Karaka 2020, Wolverine has now earned $138,970 in stakes in her perfect three-from-three career. Two of those wins have been at Group Two level, having also captured last month’s Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.

Racing in the colours of Australian Bloodstock, who bought a 50 per cent share following her debut victory in November, Wolverine and jockey Danielle Johnson sat in midfield before bursting out of the pack with a slick turn of foot in the straight.

But the Swettenham Stud-owned Karaka graduate Pacific Dragon (NZ) (Charm Spirit) went with her, diving through on her inside and turning the race into a desperate, head-bobbing finish. Pacific Dragon initially claimed victory by a nose, but the result was later overturned on protest after Pacific Dragon drifted to her left and pushed Wolverine wider out on the track through the last 200 metres of the race.

“I was pretty certain when we saw the replay that the decision would go our way,” Bergerson said. “Danielle said the way she was finishing, it probably cost her a length – she was closing very strongly.

“It’s great to have the decision go our way. Today was an important race for her breeding career further down the track, while it also gave her a really good look around Ellerslie before the Karaka Million in three weeks.

“We haven’t really wound her up yet, so she should be spot on for the big one later in the month. The good thing about her is that her shins are like concrete, so hopefully that takes some of the worries away about getting her ready for the Karaka Million.”

Pacific Dragon will also head towards the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 22, setting up an Eclipse Stakes rematch with Wolverine.

Bought for $70,000 from Windsor Park Stud’s draft at Karaka 2021, Pacific Dragon has had four starts for a win and three placings, earning $38,850 in stakes.

“She’s a really tough filly who’s improving all the time,” trainer Tony Pike said. “She’s hard to get past and very genuine.

“The Karaka Million was always the intention, and it’s great to pick up some black type along the way – especially since this was probably the strongest Eclipse field we’ve had for quite a while.”

Waikato Stud-bred and sold Wolverine, and the famous farm will offer a half-brother by Iffraaj as Lot 350 in Book 1 of Karaka 2022.

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser Mr RJ Bergerson/Chris Rutten Bloodstock (Manawatu-Whanganui)
Breeding Tivaci – Knew It
Sale Lot 485, Karaka 2021 Book 1, $50,000
Bred by Waikato Stud Ltd