Yonce (NZ) Makes Triumphant Return

11 February 2024

Yonce (NZ) as a yearling.

After more than 20 months off the scene due to a tendon strain, high-class Karaka graduate Yonce (NZ) (Proisir) announced her return to the big stage with victory in Saturday’s A$200,000 Group Three The Big Screen Company T.S. Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield.

Passed in at Karaka 2019 with a reserve of only $30,000, Yonce has now had 10 starts for seven wins and A$540,115 in stakes.

The exciting talent won all of her first six starts between December 2021 and March 2022, then finished a gallant fourth in the Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m) in her first black-type start.

Injury then kept her on the sidelines until this summer, where she finished eighth and fifth in her first two appearances in December and January. Those runs blew out the cobwebs and built up Yonce’s fitness, and on Saturday the six-year-old was back on top of her game.

Rider John Allen drove her forward from a midfield gate and she dominated the race from the front, scooting away in the straight and holding a comfortable margin of three-quarters of a length over Foxy Cleopatra (American Pharoah).

“It’s a credit to the owners,” trainer Ciaron Maher said. “She had a little injury and she could have gone to stud. She had a pretty good record, but I said there was still a lot more to offer and they were patient.

“She promised so much. She went all the way through to be a Group One performer basically in one preparation.

“It is great to have her back and Johnny (Allen) knows her so well. There wasn’t a lot of speed and she jumped well. I was a little bit nervous when I saw him in front, because she has been a little bit aggressive this preparation, but he took luck out of the equation. Full credit to him.

“I’d love to get her back up to Sydney for the Queen of the Turf. I think she’d appreciate it. She ran so well there last time at the end of a long first prep.

“But she has got a lot of options now and it is just great to have her back in form.”

After being passed in at Karaka, Yonce was purchased by Cambridge trainer Ross McCarroll, for whom she finished third in two trials and caught the eye of prominent Australian owner Ozzie Kheir.

Kheir bought an interest in the Proisir mare, but McCarroll and his fellow Kiwi owners – Shane McAlister, Stephen Kneebone and Lyn McMullan – remain in the ownership.

Vendor Woburn Farm
Breeding Proisir – Ziva
Sale Lot 990, Karaka 2019 Book 2, Psd (Res $30,000)
Bred by L de Souza & T Hartley