$3,000 Karaka Graduate Well Worth the Punt

Media Release - Monday September 21

Callsign Mav’s victory in Saturday’s Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) was one of the biggest Group One upsets in the history of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival, but Emily Holmes was less surprised than most.

Trained by John Bary for a group of owners based in Australia, Callsign Mav burst out of the trail to hit the lead at the top of the straight, and the four-year-old held out all challengers in a shock $82 win.

Emily Holmes purchased Callsign Mav as a weanling for $3,000. Photo: Trish Dunell

Three years earlier, Holmes went to Karaka and signed the paperwork to buy Callsign Mav for just $3000 as a weanling. Bred by Windsor Park Stud, he was from the first crop of ill-fated Mapperley Stud stallion Atlante.

“It’s pretty amazing that a horse we bought for $3000 has gone on to become a Group One winner,” Holmes said.

“I got to know one of the owners, Jeremy Cross, when he was over here a few years ago getting into the physio side of things with horses.

“We decided to go along to the sales at Karaka and see if we wanted to buy a couple of weanlings. I’d love to say that we did heaps of study on Callsign Mav’s pedigree and things like that, but the truth is that he was just one that caught our eye. For such a small amount of money, we thought he’d be worth a try.


“I did a bit of work with him in his early education, and he was always such a cool horse to work with. But he was a bit offset, and when my mum (Belinda, an experienced horsewoman) came and had a close look at him, she thought he’d struggle to stand up to racing and we also wouldn’t be able to sell him because of it.

“But she sent me a message after the race saying that I was the better judge this time.

“All the way through, I’d said to quite a few people that I thought he could be the best horse I’d ever had. There was just something special about him, and he was always a real favourite. It’s great to see him go on and do what he did yesterday.”

Holmes was also pleased to play a part in delivering a first Group One winner for Atlante, who was a Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman before standing at Mapperley Stud from 2015 until his death in December 2016 at the age of just 10.

“He’s a horse I’ve always followed pretty closely,” Holmes said. “I used to work with Baker Racing, travelling to Australia with Harris Tweed and things like that, so I took a bit of an interest in Atlante during his racing and breeding career. This was a great result for him as well.”

Atlante’s two crops have so far produced 16 winners from 38 runners, with Callsign Mav the best of his three stakes winners. Star Of Bombay and Riva Capri both won at Listed level last season.

Callsign Mav wins his G1

Callsign Mav’s dam is the three-race-winning Volksraad mare Raadisi, a half-sister to the Group One winner The Party Stand. Raadisi is the dam of three winners from six foals to race. Callsign Mav was the second-to-last foal out of the mare, who died after producing the Mongolian Khan colt Bo Jackson in 2018.

Holmes remains friends with Cross, but the global Covid-19 pandemic has provided a stumbling block for any other joint-shopping trips to horse sales in the foreseeable future.

“He’s really developed his business in Australia now and is pretty busy doing a lot of things over there, and with the COVID situation it wouldn’t be easy for us to do anything like that again any time soon,” Holmes said.

“But the last time he was in New Zealand, he came and did some work at Surrey Farm, where I work, so it was really good to catch up with him then. We’re definitely keeping in touch.

“It’s a pretty cool story, and it feels good that I was able to help give him a bit of a leg up into the racing side of things.” – NZ Racing Desk

Stallion Parade
More Reading...
Last Tycoon Legacy Lives On
Outside of Danehill (USA), only two shuttle stallions have ever taken the title of Champion Australian Sire by earnings, one of them is Street Cry (IRE) and the other is Last Tycoon (IRE).
First European Group I Winner for American Pharoah
Triple Crown hero American Pharoah sired his first European Group I winner in France overnight when blue-blooded two year-old colt Van Gogh captured the Group I Criterium International (1m) at Saint-Cloud.
The Bopper Rings Up Twentieth Stakes Winner for Nicconi
After losing his unbeaten record at his previous start, the three-year-old Nicconi gelding The Bopper was back to his winning ways at Randwick on Saturday when earning a maiden stakes success in the $200,000 Listed AMD Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m).
Coolmore Announce US Fees for 2021
Coolmore have announced their US fees for 2021 with reductions for many stallions including Triple Crown heroes American Pharoah and Justify, who are both covering mares in Australia this spring.
Group Three Success in Ireland for Pride Of Dubai Colt Flying Visit
Off the board in just two of his ten starts in a busy 2020, the two-year-old Pride Of Dubai colt Flying Visit needed to call on all his courage to defeat the Duawi colt Wuqood by a head in Saturdays Eyrefield Stakes (9f) at Leopardstown.
Savabeel Mare Wins G3 on Sunday
It may have taken nearly all of the Trentham straight to get her head in front but class performer Concert Hall delivered when it counted as she took out the Gr.3 Gee & Hickton Funeral Directors Thompson Handicap (1600m) on Sunday.
I Am Invincible Filly La Mexicana Digs Deep to Land the Crockett Stakes
I Am Invincible took the lead for the number of stakes winners this season to date when the progressive three-year-old filly La Mexicana capped a memorable Cox Plate day for Jamie Kah in the Listed Ladbrokes Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Danehill Sire Dynasty Where to Now?
The Danehill influence is never far away and Group I results from last weekend got us looking at who are the best of his sire sons in terms of producing sire sons.
Sires With Winners - Friday October 23
Here is the full list of 60 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia on Friday with winners and result details.
New Addition to NZB Filly of the Year Series
The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series has been expanded to 11 legs this season with the addition of the $70,000 Group Three Waikato Stud Soliloquy Stakes (1400m), which will be run at Te Rapa on Saturday.