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"The Oaks" and the "All Blacks" had a winning weekend

Shuka (pictured above) after winning the listed Ray Coupland Stakes last weekend.
Shuka (pictured above) after winning the listed Ray Coupland Stakes last weekend.

The team at The Oaks Stud has plenty to look forward to as spring racing gets into full swing especially if recent results are anything to go by.

Shuka's (Bachelor Duke [USA]- Alabama Rose) win in the listed Ray Coupland Stakes last Sunday set up a the start of a great afternoon with Tiakinui (Keeper [AUS]-Avelina [GB]) beating Smoulder (Traditionally – Flying Firebird) in the listed Seymour Cup.

"It was a great weekend. Shuka's win was pretty impressive - he got passed and flattened right out to get up and beat the favourite Rock'n'Pop. I spoke to Peter Williams after the race and he really rates him as a live chance in the 2000 Guineas next month," said The Oaks Stud general manager Rick Williams

"Bachelor Duke will have two top runners in that event now with Shanghai Bund (ex Flying Firebird) headed that way as well. His win at Hawke's Bay last week was pretty impressive, easily winning by a couple of lengths. He has had an upset preparation with a few niggling issues but now he looks to be back on track for a Guineas tilt.

"Later in the afternoon we ran second in the Seymour Cup with Smoulder, but we did breed the winner so the quinella was a perfect result. We also had a maiden winner at Seymour too with Deep Cove, a late maturing Zabeel gelding out of Emerald Cove [GB] (Shirley Heights – Fairy Feet), and of course to top it all off the All Blacks won," he said.

Deep Cove, Smoulder and Innocent Lady are amongst a small team of horses currently campaigning in Victoria for Te Awamutu trainer Graeme Sanders.

"Smoulder will be aimed at the group three fillies and mares 1600 metre Trojan Hand Tools stakes next weekend and Innocent Lady will run in the group two Moonee Valley Cup. We will limit Smoulder to handicap racing and I am sure she will be capable of picking up a nice black type win. Closer to home Artistic will line up at Te Rapa on Monday in the James and Annie Sarten Memorial, so there is plenty to be excited about.

"On the subject of Smoulder, her dam Flying Firebird is a mare I picked up at the Gold Coast sale when she retired from racing. She won the listed VRC Ottawa Stakes and two other races at two. She is by Stravinsky (USA) out of the Zabeel mare Hairini – a daughter of the Railway winner Ardee One. She has a double of Nureyev through Stravinsky and Zabeel and that was one of the main reasons I purchased her.

"She has only had two foals. Both have raced and won – and if Shanghai Bund fulfills his potential she will have had two to race for two stakes winners. She has a two-year-old filly which we have retained and has foaled a Bachelor Duke filly this season and is back in foal to him.

Also foaling to Bachelor Duke this season, and all going well returning to that stallion, is Alabama Rose (Cape Cross[IRE] – Alabama Whirly[AUS]) the dam of Shuka.

"Shuka is her second foal. Her first foal Emerged is a winner and she also has a two-year-old full sister to Shuka who we have retained. She has been broken in and worked along and will join Peter Williams' stable when he relocates to Byerley Park next month.

Alabama Rose is out of the Western Australian group one winner Alabama Whirly (Bold Rancher – Sobrica), a mare Williams had sourced for Terry Jarvis in the late 1990's and she was retained in the package that Dick Karreman bought when he purchased the stud.

"Originally Alabama Rose was sold as a yearling for a lot of money. She was plagued with injury and didn't race and I ended up buying her back as a broodmare for $10,000. Now a dual stakes winner from two foals, she's turned out well.

As a two-year-old Shuka won two races including the group two Westbury Stud Wakefield Stakes and ran fifth twice to Anabandana at group one level.

Another mare included in the broodmare band acquired with The Oaks purchase was the dam of Tiakinui, Avelina[GB] (Nashwan[USA]- Balenare).

"I purchased her from a Tatt's sale in Newmarket. Her dam was a stakes placed winner in France. She has been a great broodmare really, she has had six foals to race and all are winners including Ave Maree (Cape Cross [IRE]) who won six races for us, and Maureen Dorothy who was stakes placed at two before being injured as a three-year-old.

"Tiakinui has now won eight races and well over $200,000 in stakes. We sold him for six or seven hundred dollars at a Cambridge Lodge sale. He had dreadful legs and was never going to pass a vet test. He was trained by John Moeke in the Hawke's Bay and won three races in 2008 before becoming unsound. He had a year off and then his owner sent him over to Mathew Enright in Mornington, where he had one start for a second before going unsound again.

"Four months later he came back and won three, before going unsound and having a further nine months off before his current campaign which started in May and has resulted in a further two wins. So even though he is an eight-year-old, he has only had 26 starts.

"Avelina has a smart colt in Hong Kong by Spartacus(IRE) in Scarlett Camellia who has won two from three starts. His three-year-old brother is in work with Shaune Ritchie and we have retained the two-year-old filly also by Spartacus. We have a Sahkee's Secret filly in the Select Sale and Avelina is due to foal to him again next month."

"Shaune Ritchie also trains Zurella (Zabeel – Doneze Girl) for us and she was a pretty impressive maiden winner at Hawke's Bay last weekend also. She is another that could easily add to the excitement over the next few weeks as she goes after black type as well," added Williams.

One thing is for sure. The famous white colours with the royal blue band and cap with a white pompom of The Oaks will be popping up all over the place on both sides of the Tasman and in both islands in New Zealand as the winners keep coming for Dick Karreman and The Oaks Stud.


- Michelle Saba