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Kiwi-breds star on the big stage

The curtain has come down on a Flemington spring carnival memorable for outstanding performances from a trio of New Zealand-bred gallopers and a host of supporting acts.

The festival of racing was the perfect international stage to showcase our Kiwi-bred talent and Karaka graduates Prince Of Penzance (Pentire), Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj) and Tarzino (Tavistock) seized their opportunities to play lead roles.

The Rich Hill Stud-bred and sold Prince Of Penzance beat what was arguably the strongest yet field assembled for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup.

"While it's great for Rich Hill, myself and my family and all the staff, it's also terrific for the New Zealand industry," studmaster John Thompson said.

"This is what we do best. The Melbourne Cup is such a big deal, one of the world's biggest races."

The New Zealand-bred Criterion, raced by Sir Owen Glenn, finished a bold third to complete an outstanding result for the domestic industry.

Delight for Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman with their Gr.1 Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor) turned to despair when a colic attack forced their top-class stayer out of the Flemington feature, but their disappointment was soon eased.

On the closing day of the carnival, the Mana Park-bred and sold Turn Me Loose made all the running to claim top honours in the Gr.1 Emirates Stakes to follow his lead-up wins in the Gr.2 Crystal Mile and the Listed Seymour Cup.

"He's a very good miler, he's so big and strong and he runs great sectionals and makes it hard for horses behind him," Baker said.

Turn Me Loose led a Kiwi-bred onslaught last Saturday with Lucia Valentina (Savabeel), raced by Wellington businessman Lib Petagna, triumphing in the Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes.

The Oaks Stud-bred Divan (Zabeel), a son of the mighty mare Seachange, and the Pencarrow Stud graduate Rhythm To Spare (Pins) also won supporting events.

The first day at Flemington confirmed Tarzino's standing as the top staying three-year-old with his effortless victory in the Gr.1 VRC Derby. He was bred and sold by Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan's Cambridge Stud.

And Oaks day last Thursday didn't pass without two more New Zealand-breds hailing the judge.

Bred and sold at Karaka by Terry and Vicky Pascoe's Club Med Lodge, Yellen (Pentire) came up trumps for expatriate Kiwi trainer Chris Waller, who later produced Hursley (Makfi) to win the Listed TCL Curved TV Stakes.

He was bred by Gerry Harvey and sold through his Westbury Stud draft at Karaka last year.

For good measure, New Zealand bred galloper Tristam's Sun (Yamanin Vital) landed his second successive Kyneton Cup to take his earnings beyond A$300,000 for Brendan Tohill and the Shergar Thoroughbreds team.

Despite intense international competition from the world's most affluent stables and the millions of pounds and euros spent on imported European gallopers, once again the New Zealand bred has proved that given the opportunity, Kiwis can fly! – NZ Racing Desk.