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North vs South results at New Zealand Cup Carnival

No New Zealand race-meeting stirs up such fierce inter-island rivalry as the New Zealand Cup Carnival. This year the South Island-trained team capitalised on the absence of many northern runners and claimed a comprehensive victory with 24 winners from the 31 races held over the three Carnival days last week.

However, North Island stallions dominated the winners' pedigrees. North Island-based sires were responsible for nineteen winners; South Island sires claimed eight winners (by The Jogger, Trustful, Tenor, Carolingian, I Conquer, Bey Of Biscay and Yamanin Vital), and Australian-breds won four races.

South Island sires didn't figure at all in the pedigrees of the eight horses that took out the Carnival's nine Group and Listed Stakes races, although five were won by South Island trainers. That total rises to six if Matamata-based Mark Walker, who trains New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas G1 winner King's Chapel (AUS) is allowed South Island "citizenship" by virtue of his satellite stable at Rangiora.

Only one of the week's major winners can be described as "South Island-bred", but he delivered a particularly fitting and popular victory. Torlesse, named for the mountain range north-west of Christchurch and bred by well-known Canterbury breeders, Barbara and the late Sandy Wigleyfrom their fine G1-winning mare Seamist, stormed home to win the New Zealand Cup G2 on the final day, after winning the Metropolitan Trophy G3 on the first day.

Windsor Park's champion sire Volksraad led the stallion table for the Carnival with four wins (Torlesse (2), Coup Timaru and Volronamo). Westbury Stud's Faltaat (G1 Taatletail and Nat Nat) and Wynyard Lodge's deceased sire The Jogger (The Boss & Coup Morgan) had two wins each.

Canterbury trainers Paul Harris,, Jan Hay, and Michael Pitman led the Carnival trainers' list by number of wins with three each, without winning a Group or Listed event among them.

The Carnival's leading jockeys with four wins each were Jamie Bullard whose tally included the Welcome Stakes LR on Lotzatow; and Michael Walker, who won the One Thousand Guineas G1 on Taatletail and the Pegasus Stakes LR on Dominatrix (AUS).

The Group & Listed Stakes winners at Riccarton Park last week were:

NZ Two Thousand Guineas 1600m G1
KING'S CHAPEL (AUS) (King Of Kings-Lower Chapel by Sharpo)
Trained by Mark Walker, Matamata; bred by Norelands Stud, NSW

NZ One Thousand Guineas 1600m G1
TAATLETAIL (Faltaat, Westbury Stud, Auckland-Defensive Lady by Defensive Play)
Stephen Autridge & Graeme Rogerson, Tuhikaramea; Deborah Ho, Macau

New Zealand Cup 3200m G2
Metropolitan Trophy Handicap 2500m G3
TORLESSE (Volksraad, Windsor Park Stud, Waikato-Seamist by Beaufort Sea)
Mandy Brown, Canterbury; Barbara & Estate the late Sandy Wigley, Canterbury

Stewards' Handicap 1200m G3
FINGALBUNT (AUS) (Miesque's Son-Kooeloah by Royal Academy)
Les Didham, Riccarton Park; Dojona Nominees Pty Ltd, E Lomas, Qld

Churchill Stakes 1600m G3
JACK BE NIMBLE (Exploding Prospect, Ohau Stud, Levin-Picea by McGinty)
Joanne Hillis, Wingatui; Ancroft Stud, Matamata

Canterbury Breeders' S. 1400m LR
MINNIE BELT (Oregon, Soneri Lodge, Levin-Lady Di by Star Of Luskin)
Kevin Gray, Waverley; Kevin & Kathleen Gray, Waverley

Pegasus Stakes 1000m LR
DOMINATRIX (AUS) (Marauding-Seventeen Sins by Risen Star)
Paul O'Sullivan, Waikato; Reavill No. 1 Partnership, NSW)

Welcome Stakes 1000m LR
LOTZATOW (Towkay, Little Avondale Stud, Wairarapa-Maretto by Marceau)
John & Teria McKay, Wyndham; Little Avondale Trust & Rosalie Stolte, Wairarapa

- Susan Archer