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Big Weekend in Australia for NZB Grads

Big Weekend in Australia for NZB Grads

Karaka Select Sale graduate Orange County produced an impressive run at Caulfield on Saturday to win the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes (1400m) and was backed up with a Group 2 win for Fiumicino and the unbeaten Eclair Fantastic.

Starting from the unfortunate barrier 14, Orange County (Volksraad x Saffie by Kaapstad) travelled wide before Damien Oliver unleashed him on entering the straight to win by a cracking two and a half lengths. He sent last year's winner Bon Hoffa (Belong To Me) into second with a further neck to third-placegetter Turffontein (Johannesburg).

He was sold by Winton-based breeder Onawe Miller to his trainer, Brian Mayfield Smith, in 2004 for NZ$70,000 through Mapperley Stud's draft. Now with nine wins in the bag, two at Listed level plus eight placings, the six-year-old has amassed AU$764,375 in prizemoney.

The Schick family's Windsor Park Stud lays claim to both Volksraad (Green Desert) and the late Kaapstad (Sir Tristram).

Six-time NZ Champion sire Volksraad now has nine Group 1 winners to his name who have collectively won 16 times at racing's top echelon.

Standing for 18 seasons, Kaapstad is now making a name for himself as a successful broodmare sire with his daughters producing 33 stakes winners to date. Of these, 13 individuals have been Group 1 winners including the likes of Group 1 VRC Derby winner Kibbutz (Golan), dual Group 1 winner Dorabella (Postponed) and the outstanding Hong Kong galloper and now sire, Lucky Owners (Danehill).

Meanwhile in Sydney, Fiumicino (Zabeel x Latte by Maroof) returned to winning form, taking out the Group 2 Hill Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill.

He won the Group 1 AJC Derby last year and in winning Saturday's race beat Group 1 Rosehill Guineas winner Dealer Principal (Flying Spur) and Kiwi-bred Group 1 winner Hurrah (Bahhare),

Trained by John Hawkes, he's owned by Nick Moraitis and will head to the Craven Plate before a possible trip to Melbourne where he currently holds entries in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Moraitis bid to NZ$425,000 at the 2005 Karaka Premier Sale to secure him from Cambridge Stud.

Latte is from the outstanding six-time Group 1 winning mare Horlicks (Three Legs), the dam of 2000 Melbourne Cup winner Brew (Sir Tristram).

Rounding off the success was Ready to Run Sale graduate Éclair Fantastic (Spectatorial x Miss Jessie Jay by Spectacularphantom), who thoroughly outclassed his rivals at Morphetville with an impressive win in the Allan Scott Park Morphetville Handicap (1000m).

Racing wide throughout the race, on entering the straight he blitzed down the outside to win by just under a half length.

Saturday was just the second race-day appearance for the imposing grey, having won on debut just three weeks ago.

Miss Jessie Jay is a Group 3 winner and half-sister to the outstanding dual Group 1 winning racemare Gee I Jane (Jahafil). She is also a half-sister to the dam of the speedy son of Gold Mine in San Bernadino.

Éclair Fantastic was bred by Hallmark Stud's Denny, Lynn and Mark Baker and Kaponga breeder Trevor Hurley. He was knocked down at NZ$310,000 to the bid of Peter Moody as agent for Mr Thomas Li last year from the Lyndhurst Farm draft.

This year's Ready to Run Sale is to be held on 18 & 19 November with the Breeze Ups on 20 & 21 October.


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