Charm Spirit's Aretha Wins G3 Gold Trail

Tara Madgwick - Saturday September 21

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Aretha opened her three-year-old account in dramatic fashion when she took out the Group III Hawke's Bay Breeders' Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) in a grandstand finish.

Aretha on the inside wins the Gold Trail - Trish DunnellThe Greg McCarthy bred and owned Charm Spirit filly was having her first run since closing out a strong juvenile campaign when finishing second behind last season's champion two-year-old Yourdeel in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1200m) at Awapuni in March.

Given two trials to prepare for her season opener, Aretha was well fancied in betting for Saturday's Group Three feature after drawing perfectly in barrier three. Rider Matt Cameron took full advantage of the situation when he bounced his mount straight to the front and controlled the pace throughout.

Sent for home by Cameron at the top of the straight, Aretha looked to have stolen a march on her rivals however with 200m to run she was tackled by the Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned Bavella who had been trapped wide in midfield most of the way before launching a determined burst.

The pair set down to a tooth and nail struggle with Aretha thrusting her head back in front as the pair hit the post locked together, taking the win by the barest of margins.

Co-trainer Andrew Forsman admitted he thought his filly was going to finish a meritorious second when Bavella loomed up to win in the closing stages.

"She was very brave as I thought she was a beaten horse," Forsman said.

"She just went a little bit keenly fresh-up and I thought Bavella had her for sure, but we'll take it."

Forsman is eyeing a bigger prize in November's Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) for the filly but will let her get over her first-up exertions before any decisions on her next start are made.

"There's no need to panic as we will just pick the best path through to the 1000 Guineas," he said.

"That will have taken a fair bit out of her as it was a pretty big run so we will just reassess.

"She might go straight to the Sarten (Gr.2, 1400m) but we will just work it out."

The Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) is the feature event at Te Rapa on October 28.

Rider Matt Cameron was also finding it difficult believe he had got the win after congratulating rival jockey Leith Innes after they crossed the line.

"I thought Leith (on Bavella) had got me so was congratulating him, but I was head down and arse up at the line so it's difficult to tell," he said.

"She's (Aretha) tough and was hanging quite badly the whole race so she had every right to get beaten.

"Once the other horse came up to me, she dug deep so she is a tough little filly."

The victory was Aretha's second from just five starts and also her second at stakes level after she was successful in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) last season. – NZ Racing Desk

Stallion Parade
More Reading...
Karaka Million Early Order of Entry
The powerful Te Akau Racing operation has an incredible record in the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) in recent seasons, and they are well placed to carry on in the same vein in 2021.
Princess Jenni Captures Bendigo Cup in a Thriller
If punters were looking for a lead from the betting ring for the import Pondus in Wednesdays $400,000 Group III Apiam Bendigo Cup (2400m), they received it in spades. However, what could go wrong did go wrong for the son of Sea The Moon who fell just short of catching the High Chaparral (IRE) mare, Princess Jenni.
English King Sets Record at Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale
The exciting Camelot colt ENGLISH KING broke the record price for a colt in training on day three of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale when selling for 925,000 guineas on a day that saw five lots sell for 300,000 guineas or more.  
New G3 Winner for Charm Spirit
Matamata visitor Lilikoi showed she was on track for further age-group riches this summer with a comprehensive victory in Saturday’s Group III Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni bringing a pedigree update for her Karaka bound half-brother by Vadamos.
Last Foal for Blue Hen Mica’s Pride
He's not the ‘last of the mohicans’, but he is the last foal of a celebrated blue hen.
Charm Spirit Shows His Class
Impressive young sire Charm Spirit (Invincible Spirit) confirmed his class among an outstanding group of emerging stallion talent, when striking his second Group winning blow from his first southern hemisphere 3YO crop at the weekend.
Expect the Unexpected
Tremendous audience interest in the Ladbrokes market for leading first season sire by winners for 2020/2021 got us thinking about the stallions that have won this title in the past and it’s not always the horses everyone thinks.
Plenty of Spirit in Group Winning Performance
The stocks of ‘young gun’ sire Charm Spirit (Invincible Spirit) continue to rise with the win by 3YO colt Scorpz in the Group III Wellington Stakes at Otaki on Friday confirming the cracking start Charm Spirit has made at stud.
Would You Breed to Camelot If You Could?
Having sired first (Sir Dragonet) and third (Russian Camelot) in the Group I MVRC Cox Plate last weekend, Camelot has cemented his place as the most desirable sire for Australian buyers shopping in the Northern Hemisphere for both tried horses and yearlings, which is somewhat of an irony.
WA Breeders Celebrate Portland Sky Success
Cheers from Western Australia on Saturday as the exciting colt Portland Sky recorded a dominant victory in one of W.S Cox Plate day's features the, $200,000 Group III Red Anchor Stakes.