NEW ZEALAND BLOODSTOCK RELEASE – Saturday’s A$500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas headlined a big day for New Zealand with the Karaka graduates Ferlax (NZ) and Your So Good (NZ) the first two home in the Australian feature at Flemington.
The victory by Karaka Select Sale graduate Ferlax (Pentire x Legs Akimbo) marked a huge performance from both the horse and his trainer Jim Conlan with Saturday’s race not only Ferlax’s first at stakes level, but also his first metropolitan race. The three-year-old now remains unbeaten in his four career starts to date.
Ferlax’s victory made it two Australian Guineas wins in the last three years for NZ and Karaka with Shamrocker (O’Reilly) winning in 2011, and also headed a Group double by Karaka graduates at the Flemington meeting with Tavarnelle (Zabeel) winning the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes.
The three-year-old Ferlax could not have been more impressive in his Guineas performance. Running on the pace and sticking to the rails in the straight, jockey Stephen Baster asked Ferlax to quicken 350 metres out and the response was immediate as he took the lead 200 metres from home and held off the fast finishing Your So Good (Savabeel) to win by three-quarters of a length.
“He is a very exciting horse,” commented Jim Conlan. “We put the blinkers on him and galloped him last Tuesday and he felt great so we thought we had better give him a crack at the race.
“This is a stallion-making race and he has a nice pedigree so we need to be careful where we place him now.
“We have the Sydney Carnival coming up but we may yet back off him and head for a race like the Group 1 All Aged Stakes or the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap while he is still able to get in ok in the weights.”
The Guineas was also just the fourth start for the Nigel Blackiston trained Your So Good who produced a late finish to claim second place. The filly ran second to Alzora (Redoute’s Choice) at her last start in the Group 3 The Vanity at Flemington and looks another exciting prospect for her young sire Savabeel.
Bred by Bloodstock Resources Ltd & Rich Hill Thoroughbreds Ltd, Ferlax was purchased by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock from the 2011 Karaka Select Sale for $180,000. Now raced by Pinecliff Racing and Mr D Dexter he has earned over $400,000 from his four unbeaten starts.
Ferlax is the latest star to emerge from New Zealand Bloodstock’s Karaka Select Sale, a session that has already celebrated Australian Group 1 success this season courtesy of Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (Thorn Park).
Ferlax is the 37th stakes winner and 12th Group 1 winner for his sire Pentire who stands at Rich Hill Stud. Pentire has enjoyed considerable success in Australia Group 1 winners Rangirangdoo, (King) Mufhasa, Zarita, Pantani, Art Success and Markus Maximus.