With New Zealand Bloodstock’s South Island Sale of yearlings now live to view on Gavelhouse Plus, a pair of graduates have provided a timely illustration of the quality product that routinely comes out of this value Sale.
Shadows Cast (NZ) (Per Incanto), who was passed in at the 2014 South Island Sale with a $10,000 reserve, collected the fourth black-type win of a high-class career in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni. On the same day at Ellerslie, the $13,000 purchase Markus Aurelius (NZ) (Ghibellines) recorded his fourth consecutive victory with a dominant performance in the $32,500 Race Images 1500.
Shadows Cast has been a marvellous performer for owner Ron Cunningham and Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan. He has now had 56 starts for 12 wins, 14 placings and over $603,000 in stakes – more than 60 times his reserve at the 2014 South Island Sale.
The quality chestnut has won at least one race in six consecutive racing seasons, and he hit a career pinnacle with Group One glory in the Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham in January 2019.
“He just never goes a bad race,” Cunningham said on Saturday.
Saturday’s Flying Stakes was a typically tenacious performance, producing a relentless finish from the back half of the field despite carrying a 60-kilogram topweight.
“I’ve never ridden him before, but I had followed him,” jockey Michael McNab said. “You always see him out there doing his best, and he did that again today.
“As soon as I got him out into the better part of the track, he really let down. With that weight, it was a very solid effort.”
Markus Aurelius was offered by breeders White Robe Lodge at the 2018 South Island Sale, where Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis secured him for just $13,000.
The son of strong-performing young southern stallion Ghibellines has now won six of his 11 starts, the last four in a row. His six victories have come by a combined margin of almost 14 lengths, and he has earned $97,621 for owners the Te Akau Great Southern Man Syndicate – seven and a half times his purchase price.
“He’s becoming an exciting prospect, with a great record, and he’s winning by big margins,” Ellis said.
“I thought Joe (Kamaruddin) gave him a really positive ride on Saturday, to instructions, and he was far too good for the opposition – even though it’s probably the best field he’s come up against.
“He’s a big strong fellow and just seems to keep getting better, which is great and typical of horses bred by the Anderton family at White Robe Lodge.”
Champion trainer Jamie Richards is now aiming Markus Aurelius at the $100,000 Group Two Manco Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on 24 April.
There is one yearling by Ghibellines in the South Island Sale catalogue, Lot 22 is a colt out of Tipperary (Choisir) offered on account of Hedwood Thoroughbreds in Canterbury.
Showcasing the best southern-bred product, NZB’s annual South Island Sale of yearlings is now live and available to view on their leading online subsidiary Gavelhouse Plus.
All unbroken yearlings offered through the 2021 South Island Sale are eligible for NZB’s lucrative Karaka Million Series, featuring two $1 million races and the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup.
Bidding on the online Sale will commence from Monday 12 April, with the first lot closing incrementally at 7PM (NZT) on Wednesday 14 April. Unlike any other racing nation, the rugged terrain, cool environments and mineral-rich soils in the South Island of New Zealand gives the southern-born and raised thoroughbred strength and stamina, reinforcing their immense staying power.
Photo: Trish Dunell, NZ Racing Desk