Avantage (Fastnet Rock) wins the Gr.1 Weight-For-Age Classic at Otaki

Fastnet Rock Mare Avantage Makes it Eight G1 Wins!

Undefeated this year, top class mare Avantage (5m Fastnet Rock x Asavant, by Zabeel) continued her scintillating good form when posting career Group I number eight with a gritty victory in the Group I El Cheapo Cars Weight-For-Age Classic (1600m) at Otaki in New Zealand on Saturday.

Unbeaten in three starts, all at Group I level, in her current campaign, Avantage was confidently expected to take the elite feature to make it four in a row and she duly obliged under a confident ride from Opie Bosson.

Bosson had her positioned perfectly outside the pacemaker Deerfield throughout before issuing a confident challenge at the 300m. Kept up to her work by Bosson, Avantage held out a gallant late bid from Callsign Mav to win by half a length.

Bosson was full of praise for the effort by his mount, who showed all her fighting qualities in the last 100m to hold out Group I winner Callsign Mav.

“The plan was to go forward and ride her positively early,” Bosson said.

“We got into a little bit of trouble when Deerfield came across us, but she came back off him, relaxed nicely and did everything right.

“I could see him (Callsign Mav) out of the corner of my eye, but once I gave her a few backhanders she put her head out and had a crack.

“That just shows you how good a racehorse she is, she just loves it.”

With trainer Jamie Richards busy back on his home track at Matamata, it was left to his father Paul to travel with the mare to Otaki and he was thrilled with the result.

“Halfway down the straight she had a fight on her hands and she found plenty,” he said.

“She is an amazing athlete who has been doing this since she was a two-year-old and there is still plenty ahead of her.

“She will travel home and the team will look after her, but I think at this stage her next target could be the Bonecrusher Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) at Ellerslie.”

Jamie Richards also confirmed that a potential trip to Australia later in the autumn was also being considered although no definite arrangements had been made as yet.

]David Ellis of Te Akau Racing bought Avantage for $210,000 out of the Oaks Stud Premier draft at the 2017 Karaka Yearling Sale and she has the super impressive record of 15 wins and seven placings from 25 starts with earnings in excess of $1.9 million.

Avantage is a half-brother to stakes-placed Asathought and is the best of three winners for stakes-winning Zabeel mare Asavant, a daughter of Group III winner Pins ‘n’ Needles and half-sister to Hong Kong based Group I winning sprinter DB Pin.

Asavant is now in the ownership of Sir Owen Glenn’s Go Bloodstock and has a two year-old filly by Fastnet Rock called Mystic Mermaid and produced a colt by him last spring. She was also one of 82 mares covered by Coolmore’s Champion sire in 2020.