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New Zealand-bred The A Train wins Adelaide Cup

The New Zealand breeding industry had more to celebrate today at Morphettville when five-year-old gelding The A Train (Blues Traveller-Lady Acumen by Sound Reason) prevailed in the $A400,000 SAJC Adelaide Cup 3200m G1. It was the 17th Group One victory by Kiwi-breds in Australia this season.

He was bred by a high-profile quartet: New Zealand's Chief Justice Sian Elias, her husband, former Fletcher Challenge chief executive Hugh Fletcher, Alan Galbraith Q.C., a director of Rich Hill Stud, Matamata and former champion trainer Dave O'Sullivan.

From a half-sister to the dam of G1 Calm Harbour, The A Train was offered as a yearling by Rich Hill at the 1998 New Zealand Select Colts Sale. He was purchased for $32,000 by agent Henry Plumptre. Lady Acumen's 2000 filly by Pentire was sold for $20,000 to Roger Lang at the 2002 New Zealand Select Fillies Sale.

His ten starts in New Zealand yielded only three placings for his owners Hilton & Eileen Mackley, Jeannie Macdonnell and J. Shergold, but he won his first start for them from the Victorian stable of Cliff Brown. That was at Seymour as a late four-year-old in March 2001. He has now won seven times from 26 starts and the best part of $A400,000 in prizemoney.

The A Train is the fifth southern hemisphere stakeswinner and second Group One winner (after Giovana) for Blues Traveller. The son of Bluebird shuttled for four season from Ireland to Ashwell Farm, Cambridge until his sudden death in quarantine in July 1999.

- Susan Archer