Rider Reunited with Aromatic

Media Release - Thursday February 22

Milan Park’s Tony Rider went full-circle on gavelhouse.com on Monday night, buying back the multiple Group-winning mare Aromatic (NZ) (Sacred Falls) for $257,500.

Aromatic sold for $257,500 on Gavelhouse.

Rider bred Aromatic and offered her in Milan Park’s yearling draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2018, where she was bought by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for $160,000.

Aromatic carried the tangerine colours of Te Akau to six wins and 14 placings from a 32-start racing career, earning more than $419,000 for her owners in the Te Akau Sacred Wine Syndicate.

The highly talented grey was a triple Group winner during the 2022-23 season, capturing the Group Two Travis Stakes (2000m), Group Three Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) and Group Three Counties Cup (2100m).

But Aromatic’s significance to Rider stretches beyond her own racetrack achievements. She is out of one of his foundation horses, Vickezzchardonnay (NZ) (Don Eduardo), who herself won five races including the Group Three Taranaki Cup (1800m) and finished fourth in the Group One Auckland Cup (3200m) and a brave fifth in the Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m).


“It’s certainly special to buy this mare back, and I’m very, very happy to have her,” Rider said. “I think I own most of the family – there’s one in Australia, but all the rest are here with me.

“Vickezzchardonnay was one of the very first horses I bought from the late David Benjamin. I bought three weanlings from him at that early stage, and she was one of them, and it’s amazing what she’s done for us since then.

“Aromatic really did the family proud during her career with Te Akau. David Ellis and Mark Walker always spoke very highly of her and said she had a massive heart and would just keep trying.

“She’s quite similar to her mother Vickezzchardonnay in that regard – she also had an incredible heart. Noel Harris rode her when she finished fourth in the Oaks, and he said that he looked down at the turn into the home straight and could see a shoe dangling off her foot. He wasn’t going to ask her to do too much from that point on, but she kept going herself. She tried so hard all the way down that straight, got up into fifth place, and then they had to walk her off the track. She just had such a huge heart, and from what Aromatic did in her career, it looks like that’s a trait that runs in the family.

“I’m delighted to have bought her and really looking forward to breeding from her. I haven’t made any plans yet in terms of what stallions we might send her to – that’s something we’ll work out as we get a bit closer to the next breeding season. But she’s going to be a terrific addition to the broodmare band at Milan Park.”

Other notable results in the auction was the sale of Love For All for $25,000 and with plenty of competition during the final countdown, clearance settled at 77%. Entries are now being taken for the next fortnightly mixed bloodstock auction and are due online by 10pm on Monday 26th February. The catalogue then launches on Thursday 27th February and the auction runs through until 7pm (NZT) on Monday 4 March.

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