Trainer Stephen McKee and jockey Sam Spratt both played the patient game with devastating effect in the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday.
After a less than ideal build up and consequently flying well under the radar on the tote, 3YO Hasahalo (Savabeel x Fright Night, bred and purchased from Waikato Stud) blew them away winning by four lengths.
A Group 3 winning two-year-old and second in this year’s Karaka Million, Stephen McKee knew exactly what she was capable given the right track conditions. “She’s had terrible luck in the lead up having been scratched from the both the Annie Sarten Stakes and the Listed Soliloquy Stakes because of wet tracks. So she definitely was overlooked by a few. And her draw from barrier 13 certainly didn’t help.”
McKee had instructed Spratt to get in and get cover. “Sam had the ride of her life. She did everything perfectly. We both knew Hasahalo could come from the back and has an incredible turn off foot.”
Even so, Sam was still surprised with her acceleration “I literally had to hang on.”
Racing Manager Matt Allnutt was on course and thrilled for the owners in the Fright Night syndicate “There is a lot of first time owners in the syndicate and to have a Group 1 win is just mind blowing. It’s still sinking in too be honest. She’s a gutsy little thing and now with more black type to her name, her value has rocketed.”
McKee plans to have a crack at the inaugural 3YO Karaka Million mile in January where firm track conditions will suit. He’s also welcoming Hasahalo’s full brother back into the stable shortly after a debut second last month. “Go Racing loved the family and were canny enough to snap him up last year for $220,000. You can imagine how fast that syndicate filled. It’s going to be exciting with these two siblings.”