Group 1 Goal for Merion (NZ)

Published: Mon 15 Sep 2014 01:02 PM
Group 1 Goal for Merion (NZ)
The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas is on the horizon for kiwi galloper
Merion (NZ) (O’Reilly) following his triumph in the Listed A$120,000 Living Legends Stakes (1400m) at Flemingtonon Saturday.
Trained by kiwi Mike Moroney, Merion defeated boom colt Chivalry (Street Cry) by a short head in a close finish, putting him on track for Group 1 targets this spring following a slightly disappointing fourth last start in the McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley.
“When you put your neck on the block, which I have during the week by stating he is a Group class horse, it is good to be vindicated,” commented Moroney. “We knew the way he worked Tuesday he was close to his best again and he impressed us with the way he did it.
“It was a good ride by Steven Arnold but they were the best three-year-olds in the land on paper at the moment so it was a good effort.”
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Bred: KJ Hickman Offered: Valachi Downs Purchased: Paul Moroney Bloodstock at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2013 Karaka Premier Sale for $200,000
Champion Colts Aim at Australia
New Zealand’s Champion Two-Year-Old and Champion Three-Year-Old of last season were both in the winner’s circle on Saturday with Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City) and Puccini(NZ) (Encosta de Lago) claiming further riches in Australia.
Last season’s Champion Two-Year-Old Vespa earned his title following a dominant season which included wins in the New Zealand Bloodstock $1m Karaka Million and the Group 1 Diamond Stakes. The $NZ34,000 Karaka Select Sale purchase had his first run as a three-year-old at Ruakaka on Saturday and proved too good for the field in the Listed $50,000 Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes (1200m).
“I was very, very pleased with his performance,” commented trainer Johno Benner, “It was a convincing win in the end, he was just superior.”
Trained by Benner at Otaki, Vespa made the long trip to Ruakaka and struck a favourable Dead 6 track, however the barrier draw of nine in a 10-horse field was less than desirable.
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Bred: KJ Hickman Offered: Valachi Downs Purchased: Cavallo Agistment Centre at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2013 Karaka Select Sale for $34,000
Pearls of the Week
Royal Ocean Sails to Listed Victory
Three-year-old filly Royal Ocean (Fastnet Rock) broke her maiden in grand style with success in the Listed A$80,000 Express Colour Printing Morphettville Guineas (1600m) in Adelaide on Saturday.
The NZ$160,000 Karaka Premier Sale purchase entered the race for trainer Mick Price having placed at three of her four career starts in Victoria. Price had a good opinion of the filly having run her in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude for her first start as a two-year-old behind boom filly Earthquake (Exceed and Excel).
“She has always shown ability,” commented Price. “She has always been a bit immature, she still is, but she does have ability and it is good to see her win a black-type race.”
Starting as the second-favourite behind odds-on race-favourite Betsy (Redoute’s Choice), Royal Ocean settled in fifth position for leading South Australian rider Dom Tourneur. Betsy was in front early in the straight with Royal Ocean in a position to challenge. In a close finish, it was Royal Ocean who got the better of Betsy to win in determined fashion by a head.
To view the full article, click here.
Bred: Duchess of Bedford Offered: Curraghmore Stud Purchased: Pendant Equine Syndicate at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2013 Karaka Premier Sale for $160,000

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