New Stakes-Winner for Alabama Express

Tara Madgwick - Saturday May 4

Alabama Express posted a new stakes-winner at Riccarton on Saturday with Discretion Rules winning the Listed Berkely Stud Champagne  Stakes (1200m) and he now registers as a first stakes-winner for his sire, whose previous first stakes-winner Karavas was disqualified from her win in the Group III VRC Ottawa Stakes last spring due to a positive swab.

Discretion Rules wins the Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m).   Photo: Race Images South

Consistent galloper Discretion Rules cracked his maiden victory in fine style after a string of minor placings when taking out the Listed event.

The son of Alabama Express is prepared by Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson from their Riccarton base and had the misfortune of striking star stablemate Nucleozor at his first three starts, where he placed third then second in consecutive runs, before finding the top step of the podium at his fourth attempt.

Bounced away nicely from barrier four by Niranjan Parmar, Discretion Rules sat outside pacemaker Great Time before assuming control at the 300m.

Parmar asked for a serious effort, and he shot way by three lengths before holding out the late challenges of Cambridge visitor Ziggy Stardust and the second Walker and Bergerson runner in Colonel Warden.



Te Akau Racing Manager Reece Trumper was on hand to witness the victory and was quick to praise the ride by their stable apprentice.

“It was a great ride by Parmar as he put him in a lovely position where he relaxed beautifully,” Trumper said.

“The step up to 1200m was a question mark but Parmar gave him a treat of a ride and that is why he is the leading apprentice (43 wins) at present.

“Colonel Warden was also really good as he flattened out well and will improve with the run, so he won’t be taking long to win one.”

Walker was also taken with the performance.

“It was a really good win today,” he said.

“He’d obviously been going great races behind his stable-mate Nucleozor, but it was good to see him get his Maiden win in a Listed race.

“He’s a yearling that Dave (Ellis) bought before we knew how good the sire (Alabama Express) was going to be. He’s a very promising sire and we were very impressed with his yearlings throughout the sales series, at Magic Millions, Sydney, and Melbourne. He’s got a lovely line of young horses.

“We’re going to give him a break now, because he’s had four starts since early March, so it’s great for him to gain a valuable win before going out.”

Discretion Rules was a successful pinhook having been sourced from the Shadowbrook Bloodstock draft at the Inglis Great Southern Sale for $120,000 and then purchased by David Ellis for $165,000 at Kakara Book 1 from the Highline Thoroughbreds draft.

He is the first named foal of Miss Madonna, a half-sister by Zoustar to stakes-placed she’s Miss Devine from the family of Te Akau Racing’s Champion 2YO and Group I winner Sword of State.

Discretion Rules is the eighth first crop winner for Alabama Express and is also the second stakes-winner for Zoustar as a broodmare sire joining this year’s Group III Canberra Black Opal Stakes winner Holmes a Court.




Race Result - Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes LR 1200m

Riccarton Park Track: Soft(5) Time: 1:09.67
Discretion Rules
- 2g Alabama Express (AUS) x Miss Madonna (AUS) (Zoustar (AUS))
Tnr: Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson Rdr: N S Parmar 57
NZB Karaka Book 1 $165,000
Seller: Highline Thoroughbreds
Buyer: Mr DC Ellis CNZM (BAFNZ)
Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale $120,000
Seller: Shadowbrook Bloodstock, Drouin West
Buyer: Highline Thoroughbreds Ltd / Catheryne Bruggeman / Paul Moroney
Ziggy Stardust
- 2f Turn Me Loose (NZ) x The Flying Mullet (NZ) (Mastercraftsman (IRE))
Tnr: A W Pike Rdr: K Asano 55
NZB Karaka Book 2 $0
Seller: Windsor Park Stud
Buyer: Withdrawn
Colonel Warden
- 2g Russian Revolution (AUS) x Moralto (AUS) (High Chaparral (IRE))
Tnr: Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson Rdr: A C Goindasamy 57
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $170,000
Seller: Coolmore Stud, Jerrys Plains, NSW (As Agent)
Buyer: David Ellis
Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale $140,000
Seller: Noorilim Park, Arcadia
Buyer: Tasman Bloodstock
- 2f Ribchester (IRE) x Tihi Keepa (NZ) (Keeper (AUS))
Tnr: Kelvin Tyler Rdr: Joe Doyle 55
Lil Zena
- 2f U S Navy Flag (USA) x Zentessa (NZ) (Zed (NZ))
Tnr: S Kennedy & A Furlong Rdr: S L Wynne 55
Great Time
- 2f Time Test (GB) x Great Expectations (NZ) (O'reilly (NZ))
Tnr: R C Dennis Rdr: Ms K Williams 55
- 2f Dundeel (NZ) x Later Gator (NZ) (More Than Ready (USA))
Tnr: M E Cunneen Rdr: L T Hemi 55
Rose Of Dublin
- 2f Per Incanto (USA) x Dublin Rose (NZ) (O'reilly (NZ))
Tnr: S Kennedy & A Furlong Rdr: A Comignaghi 55
Porthouse Lady
- 2f Rageese (AUS) x Ripsomemore (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle (IRE))
Tnr: K Rae & K Williams Rdr: T R Moseley 55
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