G1 2YO Star for Fastnet Rock

Outstanding filly Avantage (2f Fastnet Rock  x Asavant, by Zabeel) won the rich Karaka Million back in January and at Awapuni on Saturday became the 33rd Group I winner for her champion sire when taking out the Group I Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

Te Akau’s glorious season with their two-year-olds continued at Awapuni with Avantage completing a coveted Group I double for David Ellis’s high profile operation.

The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards trained filly bowed to stablemate Sword Of Osman when runner-up in the Sistema Stakes (1200m), but this time produced a stunning performance to blitz her rivals in the 1400 metre contest.

“She’s got some value now, bring on the 1000 Guineas in the spring,” Richards said. “She’s a lovely filly and a pleasure to have around the stable.”

Rider Danielle Johnson was able to position Avantage one off the fence in fifth spot before pouncing 250m from home and then dashed away to account for Melt, who chased gamely some two lengths back.

“She’s a super filly and she was given a super ride,” Richards said. “Her work since Ellerslie had been pleasing, she trained on beautifully.

“Troy was caught between a rock and a hard place and the pattern of the day was getting out wide and coming home.”

Avantage has now won five of her six starts and this latest victory should assure her of champion juvenile honours.

“She was very impressive, it’s a huge thrill,” Johnson said. “From the wide gate I got a nice run with the pace on all the way.

“I had a lot of horse underneath me and it was just a case of when to push the button.”

A $210,000 NZB Premier purchase for Te Akau’s David Ellis from the Oaks Stud draft, Avantage was foaled in Australia at Coolmore and is the second winner for stakes-winning Zabeel mare Asavant, a daughter of Group III winner Pins ‘n’ Needles and half-sister to Group I HK Centenary Sprint Cup winner DB Pin.

Coolmore’s flagship Australian sire, Fastnet Rock has a top class selection of 39 entries for the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

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