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Carter Bloodstock's faith in Ekraar filly justified

Rising Romance - photo NZTM website Carter Bloodstock principal John Carter is still buzzing after the exciting win by his Ekraar (USA) filly Rising Romance in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial at Ellerslie recently. "To be honest I thought she would be thereabouts, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that she would win or win like that," said the Auckland-based lawyer after the filly had pounced on her rivals up the straight and went on to win by one and a half lengths. Trained at Ruakaka by Donna and Dean Logan, who enjoyed so much success last season with another three-year-old Ekraar filly Habibi, Rising Romance was having only her fourth race day start. She made her race debut at Avondale in early October and finished a luckless fourth, less than half a length from the winner. She ran a close fourth again at her next start before winning a 1400 metre maiden at Dargaville two weeks before the Trevor Eagle Memorial. Rising Romance is the third foal from Post Romance, who was purchased for John Carter by Paul Moroney at the 2005 Select Yearling Sale. By Postponed (USA) she was out of the stakes-placed winning Sir Tristram mare Pretty Wicked, herself a daughter of Something Wicked (by Sackford [USA] – A Little Love [USA]) a sister to the group one winning mare A Little Kiss. Shortly after the sale Moroney was approached by Mike Tololi, the under bidder on the nicely put together daughter of Pretty Wicked, who wanted to purchase half the well-bred filly. Moroney put the proposal to Carter and as a sweetener told Carter he would put him into a nice Black Minnaloushe (USA) colt. "He said to me I can promise you that he will win a two-year-old race. I didn't hesitate and I am usually a more cautious buyer than that. When Paul bought Post Romance for me I insisted on inspecting her even before he bid on her. "When Brenda Collins sent me the photos of him with his baldy white face and four white feet she added a note to say that at least you will be able to see him coming. Fancy buying a horse unseen and then discover it has four white feet and you know what they say about four white feet. "Well he turned out to be Joker's Wild and that was me hooked in the racing game." Carter's interest in the racing game was developed through his ownership shares in some of the successful Moroney syndicates in the early 2000's. "Originally I had a little flutter years ago, with no luck. Then a few friends and clients were involved in a couple of Moroney syndicates and suggested I get into one of those as it was a good way of getting involved. So in 2001 I did and we had some reasonable success with some fillies and that's what got me interested. I then started buying half shares and full shares, and that led to buying Post Romance and the involvement in Jokers Wild," he said. As promised by Moroney, Joker's Wild did win a two-year-old rac. In fact he won four - the Group One ARC Diamond Stakes, the Group One Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes, and the Matamata Slipper and Counties Challenge Stakes, both Listed events, before winning the title of champion two-year-old of his year. As a three-year-old he added the Group Two Hawke's Bay Guineas and Group Two Wellington Guineas before finishing second in the Group One 2000 Guineas at Riccarton and in the Group One Levin Classic. After running second to Sir Slick in the Group One Otaki Weight-For-Age, Jokers Wild placed in the Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington. Tragically his four-year-old season was short lived. He resumed with a fourth placing in the Group One Mudgway Stakes at Hastings, before going to Melbourne where he picked up a blood infection and later died. Harking back to Post Romance, she won a 1200 metre maiden at Avondale, and was retired to stud and mated to Royal Gem producing Gem Lover, a winner over 1150metres. "Tololi insisted she go to Royal Gem (USA) when she first went to stud, but since I bought him out she has been to Ekraar ever since. Even without the success of Rising Romance, I am still a big fan of Ekraar and have sent another mare to Ekraar this season. "I liked Ekraar right from the time he arrived in the country. I watched those videos when he first came out. I liked his doggedness. He was often used as a pacemaker to ensure a truly run race for other horses in the stable and he would win every other one. "Ekraar raced until he was six and that indicated to me that he had a great physique and his legs stood up all that time too," he added. After a couple of years I had to let Post Romance go. "I had a nice young filly out of her and I am a small time thoroughbred breeder and my property can only cope with a limited number of mares." He sold the mare in foal to Ekraar to Bill Borrie of Miss Potential fame, and she produced a colt for him. Borrie subsequently sold that colt at the yearling sales in February to the Beatson brothers who on-sold it at the recent Ready to Run Sales to Kevin Meyers. "I have 20 acres at Ardmore which is home to my mares and various race horses. I have four mares in foal this year, and two maiden mares, as well as a two-year-old by Ekraar and I have another couple of two and three-year-olds in work with various trainers. "Diva In Red (AUS) (High Yield[USA]-Lirico[AUS]) is in foal to Ekraar and has a colt foal by Redwood(GB). She has a magnificent Shocking (AUS) colt in the Premier Sale next month. He is currently being prepped by Sandra Townsend of Delph Common but will go into the Highview Stud draft later this month. "She has left two winners from two to the races - Star of Show and Moment of Impact and her three-year-old gelding by Pentire (GB) is in work with Trent Bussuttin and will go to the races in the next few weeks. He is called Amadeus. "I also have a Showcasing (GB) filly in the Select Sale. She is out of Royal Malt(IRE) (Royal Academy [USA]-Malt), a half-sister to the mighty Horlicks. "Last summer I sold a Snitzel(AUS) colt out of my Celtic Swing (GB) mare It's You (AUS) for $130,000 and he had his first start at Caulfield recently and ran a very close sixth. It's You has left three winners including Yourein (Reset [AUS]) who won the Listed Guineas Prelude at Auckland. She had a Redwood( GB) filly this year and is back in foal to that stallion. "You know I usually end up selling the wrong one. It's been a long time between drinks since I had a horse win a decent race, so let's hope its onwards and upwards with Rising Romance," Carter said "You just have to be patient and hang in there and hope that your luck changes, he added."

- Michelle Saba