Stakes winner Exuberant will step out at Riccarton on Friday.
The Stephen Marsh-trained gelding will tackle the JL Barr Memorial 1200, dropping in grade and getting a prime opportunity to return to the winner’s stall for the first time since he won the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham on debut as a two-year-old.
While he did run third in the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie later that season and second to Catalyst in the Gr.3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka at three, a breathing issue has prevented Exuberant from reaching the heights he promised as a youngster.
“That hasn’t made it easy for him,” Marsh said.
“He did look like a very progressive colt when he won the Wellesley. He went a good race in the (Karaka) Million and then ran second to Catalyst but he hasn’t fulfilled his potential.
“He does get his opportunity this week though. We tried stepping him up to 1400m last start and while his run wasn’t bad, he just didn’t see it out. He’s drawn out but he’ll jump and hope to lead them throughout.
“He’s got the side winkers on and back in Rating 65 grade and he’s been working well so he’s got to be a chance.” -NZ Racing Desk
Mightybeel wins with ease at Canterbury Park on Friday night. Photo: bradleyphotos.com.au
Go Racing landed a double in Australia over the weekend with progressive European import Skyman successful at Flemington on Saturday and Derby contender Mightybeel impressing at Canterbury Park on Friday night.
In just the second start of his second Australia campaign, Skyman picked up the winner’s A$69,750 in the Kennedy Trophy (1600m). It was his third win from just six starts in Australia since being purchased from the 2019 Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale.
Ridden by Damien Thornton for trainer Chris Waller, Skyman received a severe check early in the race and was forced to race three-wide. He tracked into the race nicely and Thornton took him through his gears with clear running to let down for a three-quarter length victory.
Skyman picked up two wins in his first Australian preparation, and he will continue to improve as he gets up over further ground.
“He’s been such a nice progressive horse as we saw in his first preparation,” Chris Waller Racing representative Jo Taylor said. “We’ll just take it one step at a time and as he improves through the grades there’s no reason why he can’t continue to produce good results for the owners.”
Go Racing’s Albert Bosma was thrilled with the victory. “He is a Group quality horse following in the footsteps of our previous classy imports.”
Thornton added that he thought Skyman has the talent to be competitive at stakes level.
Skyman’s win came the day after fellow Go Racing charge Mightybeel impressed with a seemingly effortless four-and-a-quarter-length victory in the ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury Park.
Also trained by Chris Waller, Mightybeel was ridden by James MacDonald. He began a touch slowly and settled in a midfield position one off the fence. He was a bit green on the tight home bend but once balanced he quickly distanced himself from the rest of the field.
“He’s still a work in progress but he’s got a lot of class on his side,” MacDonald said. “He’s definitely a horse for the future and he gives you a great feel.
“Once he gets over a staying trip he’ll come into his own, he’s a strong-minded and strong-built horse who will cope with good quality racing from here on in.”
Go Racing’s Albert Bosma confirmed the son of Savabeel will have a week off before coming back in to work later this month to begin his preparation for the Queensland Derby (2400m). “It was impressive and James actually eased up on him. He could have won by more, so it is very exciting for his owners.”
Go Racing purchased another son of Savabeel, out of the multiple stakes winning O’Reilly mare, Dating at Karaka last month with a few shares still available. He’s bred on a similar cross to Mightybeel, who is out of a daughter of Alamosa who is a son of O’Reilly.
The Savabeel x Dating colt will be trained in Sydney by John O’Shea and you can find out more about him here.
Six of Go Racing’s 2021 Karaka purchases will be trained in either Sydney or Melbourne where the minimum Saturday stake is now $A125,000. There are still some shares remaining on the Go Racing website.
The syndicator’s run didn’t stop in Australia with South Island representative Severine winning the GM Accounting & Consulting Rating 74 (1400m) at Riccarton Park on Saturday.
The tough mare was ridden by Jacob Lowry for trainer Andrew Carston, who thinks she has what it takes to win at stakes level.
“God she’s tough, she knows where the winning post is,” he said.
“She’s done a really good job, she’s won five races now, so we will try and get some black-type with her. She’s had two runs in stake company now without any luck in the draws, but I think she’s up to it.”
Bosma confirmed Severine would have another start before targeting the Gr.3 South Island Breeders’ Stakes on March 27 and the Listed Easter Stakes on April 10.
“She’s such a fun horse to be involved in and that was her third win by a nose. She certainly knows how to give her owners a thrill!”
Go Racing purchased a Proisir filly out of the Karaka Book 2 Sale that will join Carston’s Christchurch stable, for more information on her click here.