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Milford Storms To Salver Success

Milford (NZ) wins the Listed Te Akau Gingernuts Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie.

Karaka graduate Milford (NZ) (Savabeel) is firmly on the road to the $1m Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m) after scoring a powerful victory in Sunday’s $50,000 Listed Te Akau Gingernuts Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie.

Milford was a $360,000 purchase from Waikato Stud’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2019. Sunday’s win was the first of his five-start career, with the promise of much more to come.

Ridden by Leith Innes, Milford sat in fourth place before starting to get warmed up at the top of the home straight. Despite gawking around inside the last 200 metres, he quickened impressively to charge past the leaders and score by half a length.

“He’s a real progressive staying type with a bright future,” Innes said.

Carrying the distinctive green, yellow and dark blue colours of part-owner Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock, Milford is trained in Cambridge by Stephen Marsh, who won this race last season with the subsequent New Zealand Derby placegetter Scorpz (NZ) (Charm Spirit).

Marsh believes Milford also has the credentials to make his presence felt in the prestigious classic at Ellerslie on March 6.

“He’s got any amount of ability, but he’s been quite green in his races to date,” Marsh told NZ Racing Desk.

“We took the winkers off last time which probably didn’t work, but with those back on today he seemed to settle better during the running.

“He got a little bit lost coming around that last bend and took a few strides to balance up, but when he did find his feet again, he really put in nicely for an impressive win.

“He can have a little break now and then come back and go through the Avondale Guineas (2100m) on his way to the Derby. We will see how he does with the week in the paddock, but he is a very athletic type so I don’t think he will need another run before those two races. They are his main targets.”

Milford became the 110th individual stakes winner for Waikato Stud’s super-sire Savabeel, and his 13th this season. The champion stallion will be represented by 44 yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2021, which runs from January 24 to 26.

VendorWaikato Stud
PurchaserBruce Perry Bloodstock (BAFNZ) (Masterton)
BreedingSavabeel – Etiquette
SaleLot 14, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $360,000
Bred byWaikato Stud

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