Trans-Tasman Group Double for Fastnet Rock
Champion sire Fastnet Rock had two of his flagship performers racing on Saturday with champion Kiwi trained mare Avantage (5m Fastnet Rock x Asavant, by Zabeel) winning at Te Rapa in New Zealand, while at Randwick evergreen gelding Dreamforce (8g Fastnet Rock x Eskimo Queen, by Shinko King) turned in a remarkable performance to lead all the way and win the Group II ATC Tramway Stakes (1400m) for the second year in a row.
Winner of the Group I ATC George Ryder Stakes back in the autumn, the John Thompson trained Dreamforce was having his second run back from a spell and enjoyed the firmer footing to lead all the way and score a tenacious win over Group I winner Kolding.
Dreamforce was made to work to get to the front and gave everything he had for Nash Rawiller in the concluding stages.
“He’s a real warhorse he doesn’t give up,” said Nash Rawiller.
“It wasn’t really the plan to lead. I was happy to sit outside her (Greysful Glamour) but I just let him use his cruising speed and when he gets into that rhythm it doesn’t matter if he is going that little bit harder if you get him off the bridle he gives you twice as much as the finish of the race. He got into a lovely rhythm.”
Foaled and raised at Kitchwin Hills, Dreamforce was retained to race by his breeders after passing in at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and has put together an impressive record with 13 wins and 11 placings from 35 starts with prizemoney in excess of $2.2million.
Dreamforce is the best of five winners for Eskimo Queen, an outstanding racemare who won both the Group I Queensland Oaks and STC Coolmore Classic.
Multiple Group I winner Avantage showed she is the horse to beat in the upcoming Hawke’s Bay triple crown when she produced a strong fresh-up effort to take out the Group II Valachi Downs Foxbridge Pate (1200m) at Te Rapa.
She had closed out her four-year-old campaign with three Group I victories in the space of four starts and looked primed to resume her spring campaign with an eye-catching trial win at Taupo last month.
Trainer Jamie Richards was confident he had the horse to beat in a race that oozed class and so it proved as she was too tough for her rivals in scoring a comfortable length victory with Danielle Johnson in the saddle.
“It always mapped like she was going to get a good run from the barrier and so it played out,” trainer Jamie Richards said.
“Danielle was able to sneak her up on the inside of Julius on the home corner and once she was clear she found a good kick.
“In saying that, the second horse took some running down and she was probably on empty the last 50m, but she is a really good mare who is a real winner.”
Richards and the Te Akau team have their sights on the Hawke’s Bay triple crown for Avantage with the first leg, the Group I Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on September 19 her next assignment.
“The plan is to go to Hastings in a fortnight for the Tarzino,” he said.
“She should take good benefit out of today’s run and the two weeks between races will be ideal.”
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 11 wins and four placings from 18 starts with earnings in excess of $1.3 million.
Avantage is the second winner 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 after missing in 2018 to Merchant Navy was covered again by Fastnet Rock last year.