New Zealand builds strong hand for Australian classics

Carnegie Express, bred in New Zealand by Queenslander John Hawkins, gave Trelawney Stud's shuttle sire Carnegie his second Group One winner this season when he took out the STC Canterbury Guineas G1 on Saturday evening, beating Pentire's son Pentastic whose passage could have been smoother, according to jockey Brett Prebble. Carnegie is also the sire of VRC Derby G1 winner Amalfi, who has recently been side-lined with a tendon injury.

Fourth-placed Leica Guv (Deputy Governor) should not be excluded from AJC Derby considerations - he was a most impressive winner of the New Zealand Derby G1 in December, is a very genuine and classy performer and will benefit from the run.

Don Eduardo (Zabeel), bred by Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan, moves ever closer to the point where the standard of his performances will surpass the memory of his record sale price of $3.6 million at Karaka two years ago. His grinding win in the MRC Shannons Classic G2 confirmed that he is a staying colt of real ability.

In New Zealand the fillies Sixty Seconds (Centaine), Final Destination (O'Reilly) and Vapour Trail (Jetball) lit up the Ellerslie track with outstanding performances. Sixty Seconds, a very big filly with a long stride and pace to burn, defeated Vapour Trail and Venus Was Her Name (Pectacular Love) in the Fayette Park Championship S. G2. Sixty Seconds has been purchased by English owner-breeder Gerald Lee but will remain in the Roger James stable for her autumn campaign in Sydney.

Vapour Trail, who has clinched the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title, is blooming even at the tail end of a testing season and may yet be seen in Australia with Sydney and Adelaide among the options being considered for her. Trainer Donna Logan felt she was slightly inconvenienced by the track at Ellerslie but is delighted with the filly's general condition and attitude.

Final Destination, whose season has been interrupted by unsuccessful sale negotiations and minor injury, is aiming for the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' S. G1 at Te Aroha on 16 March - a race that promises to be one of the best Group One contests in New Zealand all season.

- Susan Archer


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