Expensive Almanzor Colt Ready for Stakes Debut

Media Release - Thursday December 9

High-priced youngster Andalus hasn’t been troubled by the unexpected rigours of the past week and trainer Stephen Marsh can’t fault the colt ahead of his delayed debut on Saturday.

The son of Almanzor was dispatched to Trentham for the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) last weekend, only to return home unraced after the meeting was abandoned.

Andalus as a yearling.

Andalus will line up for take two of the relocated Hiddenbed-sponsored two-year-old feature at Te Rapa and Marsh said the Lib Petagna-owned juvenile was raring to go.

“He has done really well and the trip away last week didn’t worry him at all. He’s come back nicely and he’s drawn well in barrier two.

“There’s obviously a bit more depth in the field this time, but he is in really good order.”

Andalus was a $420,000 purchase out of Waikato Stud’s draft by Petagna’s bloodstock manager Bruce Perry and won a trial in fine style at Taupo last month in the hands of Michael McNab, who will take the ride again.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in the horse. He’s not a dead-set two-year-old type, but he has got the best temperament you could ever ask for and he’s just done everything so well,” Marsh said.


The stable will be well-represented in the black-type features at Te Rapa with Tabata to take her place in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m), Starrybeel steps out in the Gr.3 Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m) and Raposa Rapida and Run To Perfection in the Gr.3 J Swap Sprint (1400m).

Savabeel mare Tabata has yet to place this preparation, but Marsh believes five-year-old is capable of a much-improved performance with the addition of headgear.

“The blinkers go on her and her runs have been good without a lot of luck. She can turn her form around,” he said.

Dour stayer Starrybeel was a last-start winner at Te Aroha and the lack of depth in the Waikato Cup line-up has encouraged connections to give the gelding his opportunity.

“He was very good last time out, but we weren’t initially looking at this race for him,” Marsh said.

“I rang up before nominations and it was a small field, he galloped well on Tuesday morning so we thought we’d have a crack. At his best, he is a good stayer and he looks a decent lightweight chance.”

Raposa Rapida and Run To Perfection will both have awkward barriers to contend with in the open sprint on the card and Marsh concedes they will need everything to go their way to be in the finish.

“They have drawn outside gates so it’s going to make it hard for them, but any rain around will really help Run To Perfection,” he said.

“You can forget Raposa Rapida went around last time out and he was a stakes winner the start before, but they will both need some luck from the barriers.”

Meanwhile, Marsh has future Group hopes for his midweek maiden winner Windspeed, who went one better over 1200m at Hastings following a debut second at New Plymouth.

“She’s nominated for the Levin Classic and the Oaks and she’ll step up to 1400m now and then we’ll gradually get her over more ground,” he said.

“She is a very progressive filly and she is improving all the time.”

Marsh outlaid $25,000 to secure the well-related daughter of Tavistock out of Cambridge Stud’s Karaka draft in 2020.

“The Georgetti family wanted a filly and didn’t want to spend too much and I found her for them. She was a little bit backward at the time, but she’s a decent type and the pedigree is very good,” he said.

Windspeed is a daughter of the unraced Zabeel mare Tuesday’s Child, who is out of a three-quarter sister to the champion sire Redoute’s Choice.

Rubick, Manhattan Rain, Al Maher, Umatilla, Echoes Of Heaven and Hurricane Sky are other stallions on the pedigree page as well as the three-time Group One-winning mare Shoals. – NZ Racing Desk


More Reading...
First Winner for Justify
Coolmore’s undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify (USA) is on the board with his first runner in North America returning a winner at Sant Anita on Sunday with a debut victory for Tahoma.
Thoroughbreds Take Centre Stage at Easter Show
The Sydney Royal Easter Show on Friday featured the major hacking classes of the show for thoroughbreds with the prestigious Pope Cup for geldings and Crane Trophy for mares decided with Darley boss Vin Cox the guest co- judge from the bloodstock world.
Australia’s Most Expensive Mares – Who Will be Added to the List?
The Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale gets underway on Tuesday at the Gold Coast and with a star studded catalogue and a booming bloodstock market we can expect these mares to be fetching premium prices.
Doomben Cup meeting abandoned - Stakes Races Moved
The Group One Doomben Cup meeting which was postponed from Saturday to Wednesday has now been abandoned with stakes races rescheduled throughout the coming weeks including three to this Saturday and involving some mares set to go under the hammer at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale this week.
Godolphin Win G1 2,000 Guineas with Homebred Coroebus
Godolphin have had a hot start to the European flat season and were expected to win the Group I 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket overnight with the hot favourite Native Trail, but he had to settle for second behind stablemate Coroebus with Coolmore entry Luxembourg in third place,
First Winner for Better Land
Stuart Ramsay’s Turangga Farm colours were carried by a super impressive maiden winner at Mornington on Thursday and three year-old gelding Outback Action has the distinction of being the first winner for his sire Better Land.
Hitotsu Sidelined Through Injury
Triple Group I winning Maurice (Jpn) colt Hitotusu has been ruled out of any spring campaign with the Maher Eustace stable issuing a statement on Monday advising the glamour colt has sustained a suspensory injury.
First Winner for Derryn
Promising two-year-old Sophmaze could tackle the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui next month after registering an impressive maiden victory at Trentham on Saturday.
Reliable Man's Ardakan Wins the Italian Derby - Several Other Familiar Names On Show
There were some very familiar names on the board on Italian Derby Day at Capannelle on Sunday with the day’s feature being won by a son of Westbury Stud's Reliable Man (GB).
HK Stakes-Winner for Star Turn
Australasian bred sprinters filled the trifecta in the Group III Sha Tin Vase (1200m ) on Sunday with three year-old Star Turn gelding Cordyceps Six proving too good for Nervous Witness (Star Witness) and Lucky Patch (El Roca).