Unbeaten filly Avantage (2f Fastnet Rock x Asavant, by Zabeel) gave Te Akau Racing their second consecutive win in the $1million Listed Karaka Million at Ellerslie in New Zealand on Saturday.
Avantage started favourite in the race after she had been unbeaten in her first three starts including an impressive win at her first look around Ellerslie a fortnight ago.
Opie Bosson gave Avantage a perfect ride as he utilised an inside barrier draw to have the filly tracking the speed throughout.
Asked to move into contention, Avantage lengthened beautifully to snatch the lead from pacemaker Bocce at the 200m mark and hold out the challenge of stablemate Al Hasa who stormed home late to finish second beaten three-quarters of a length in the lucrative 1200 metre sprint.
“I always knew she was the one to ride and the only worry I had was trying to make the weight,” said Bosson, who had his choice of the five Te Akau runners in the race.
“I busted my a… to do it and even this morning I was thinking I wish I had picked one of the colts as it would have been easier (to make the weight).
“When something like this happens it’s really worth it.
“She’s just a natural racehorse which makes the job so much easier. She really impressed me first-up and had so much improvement in her.
“I got the perfect run although turning for home I thought the leader had us in trouble. Once she balanced up she really stepped up and it was all over.”
David Ellis of Tea Akau Racing bought Avantage for $210,000 out of the Oaks Stud Premier draft at the 2017 Karaka Yearling Sale, a figure he felt was cheap considering the filly’s pedigree.
“I paid $210,00 for her, which for a Fastnet Rock filly was great buying,” he said.
“Opie told me early on she was a high-class filly. She trialled at Te Teko back in August and has just shown us so much all the way through.
“She is owned by a terrific bunch of people who are just over the moon. It’s a life-changing experience for them.”
The 127th stakes-winner Champion Sire Fastnet Rock, Avantage is the second winner for stakes-winning Zabeel mare Asavant, a daughter of Group III winner Pins ‘n’ Needles.
Fastnet Rock posted a juvenile stakes double on Saturday with Long Leaf successful in the Listed MRC Blue Diamond Preview Stakes at Caulfield.