Derby Winner Takes G2 Avondale Cup

Media Release - Saturday February 17

Talented stayer Asterix returned to the scene of his greatest triumph when he stormed home to take out the Gr.2 Eagle Technology Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie.

The injury-plagued son of Tavistock took out the 2022 edition of the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) but a string issues had hampered his progress since then.

Asterix winning the Gr.2 Eagle Technology Avondale Cup (2400m).   Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott and his ownership group, that includes former New Zealand cricketer Mark Greatbatch, have shown infinite patience with the now five-year-old and he repaid that faith on Saturday with a powerful staying performance.

Jockey Lynsey Satherley followed her instructions to the letter as she let Asterix lob along in midfield before sneaking off the rail approaching the home bend.

Faced with a wall of horses in front of her, Satherley didn’t panic as she switched Asterix into a gap in the middle of the track, where he produced a dogged finish to down a game Dionysus and gallant pacemaker Good Oil, who fought back strongly for third after being headed at the 250m.

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Co-trainer Andrew Scott breathed a sigh of relief after the race as he explained some of the trials and tribulations the horse had faced since his Derby victory.

“His three runs prior to today had been very encouraging,” Scott said.

“He got back off a slow pace last time but worked home well in the straight and it is just great to see his stride back as he settled beautifully, and Lynsey rode him to a tee.

“It was just a really good Auckland Cup trial for three weeks’ time.

“It’s a credit to the team as he has had a lot of troubles throughout his career and the guys have put a lot of time into him to get him to this stage.

“We had to let him grow his feet out then he had a heart fibrillation and got the thumps after taking him to Sydney.

“We have brought him up slowly with this in mind and we are hoping he can have a great recovery from here.”

TAB bookmakers were quick to move as they have now installed Asterix as the $5 favourite for the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thomspon Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 9, ahead of Mark Twain at $7.

Satherley was delighted to pick up the ride on Asterix and was especially taken with his sharp turn of foot in the home straight.

“That was a big thrill and when I came out in the straight and put one behind his tail, geez he just took off,” she said.

“The speed was on and they quickened at the half mile, but I was told to be patient and when I came out he was really explosive.

“He will stay all day this horse.”

Asterix was bred by Sir Owen Glenn’s Go Bloodstock and is out of Mourasana, a British-bred daughter of Shirocco. Herself a Listed placegetter in France, Mourasana is a half-sister to the Group Two winner Mouramara, who is the dam of three stakes winners including Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) winner Mourayan and Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) placegetter Mourilyan.

Asterix has now won four of his 13 starts and more than $760,000 in prizemoney. - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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