graduates relish racing’s resumption


With the resumption of New Zealand racing occurring under Level 3 restrictions this week, graduates have hit the ground running.

At Matamata on Wednesday, Burgundy gelding Sharky (pictured) powered to the line for an impressive win in the Super Liquor Matamata 1200m Maiden. The victory marked a quick return on investment for Waipukurau trainer Kirsty Lawrence, as it was just Sharky’s second race-day start having been purchased for $1,800 online in May.

Wednesday also saw a treble of graduates winning at Ashburton, through Lovingyourwork, Sea Shepherd and Queens Sweep. Lovingyourwork justified her odds-on favouritism to break her maiden in the opening race on the card over 1600m. By Foxwedge, she was a $1,900 buy for trainer Richard Didham in April. 

This was followed by Sea Shepherd flashing home late to salute on debut over 1200m in the Cochranes Of Canterbury 3yo Maiden. The Zacinto gelding was a $17,000 purchase from New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2020 South Island Sale conducted on the Gavelhouse Plus platform.

Later in the day Queen Sweep proved too strong, winning the JJ Ltd Ashburton BM74 over 2200m. The win was the Ego mare’s fifth career victory, and her fourth since being purchased by Naomi Murfitt in July 2019 for just $900.

Another treble followed on Thursday at the Cambridge Synthetic, with graduates Valzacella, Dear Oh Dear and Hasstobemagic all saluting. Valzacella was purchased as a yearling by trainer Steven Ramsay in 2018 for $12,500, and put away her rivals to break her maiden in the Marsh Racing New Stables 1550m.

The following race saw Dear Oh Dear sit on speed, three-wide the trip and eventually pull away to claim victory in the Manning Investments Ltd 1300m Maiden. The daughter of Atlante was purchased by Les Collins for $500 in July 2020.

The Glen Harvey trained mare Hasstobemagic then hung on well to break her duck in the Group One Turf Bar 1300m Maiden. By Scissor Kick, she was purchased for $1,500 in March this year.

Friday’s meeting at Hawera capped off a successful week for Gavelhouse graduates with The Bounder winning the Heather D Yaxley Martinez BM65 1600m. The Swiss Ace gelding charged home late to claim his second career victory. He was purchased for $3,200 in 2019 by Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock.

Saturday and Sunday promises to be another fruitful weekend of racing. Notable graduates include Ocean Billy who kicks off his spring campaign in the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa, while Justacanta makes his Australian debut in Patrick Payne’s stable, lining up against some fierce competition in the Listed Chatauqua Stakes at Moonee Valley. 

Currently online is a 49-Lot catalogue featuring youngstock, racing propositions and a high-class unreserved broodmare reduction. Bidding ends from 7pm Monday.


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