Bonny mare Atishu (Savabeel x Posy) ran out a dominant winner of the Gr.1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) under a perfect Nash Rawiller ride, to land a richly-deserved first Group One victory.
The five-year-old daughter of Savabeel had been luckless when second in the Gr.2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) first-up and peaked on Saturday as she embellished an already strong record.
The winner of eight of her 30-starts, Atishu, who sports the colours of syndicator Go Racing for trainer Chris Waller, dashed away from runner-up Hope In Your Heart to score by 2½ lengths with More Secrets finishing third.
“It’s well deserved. She was a bit stiff last start and she was given a beautiful ride from Nash (Rawiller) and she just really went to a new level,” Waller said.
“It’s not all about the boom horses, it’s the late developers as well and that’s the beauty of spring and autumn you can see things change a lot. To her credit she didn’t have a lot go her way in the spring. She’s got her Group One today.
“It was a great return in the Emancipation. That day she had a wide draw and today she had a perfect draw and Nash rode her accordingly. Just got her out in a nice spot and switched her off and had a saloon passage through and it was pretty to watch.”
Atishu transferred to Waller as a multiple stakes winner for trainer Stephen Marsh in New Zealand as a three-year-old.
The winner of the Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) in the spring, Atishu has displayed some wayward barrier tendencies throughout her career but has always been a mare with immense talent.
“She stood flatfooted in the barriers a few times,” Waller said. She’s enjoying her racing now, she’s wanting to be there and it showed at the 300m today how serious she is about being a race horse.”
While everything went to plan for Atishu, the same can’t be said for star Kiwi mare Levante.
The four-time Group One winner signed off with a luckless sixth after being held up on multiple occasions.
“Unfortunately, she ran well without much luck again. She didn’t step from the barrier and ended up too far back from the barrier,” jockey Damian Lane said.
Bred by Waikato Stud, Atishu is by their champion sire Savabeel out of the No Excuse Needed mare Posy, who won two races and is a sister to the former Champion Three-Year-Old and multiple Group One winner Daffodil.
Atishu became the 31st individual Group One winner for Savabeel and is a sister to the Waikato Stud-raced Mazzolino, a smart three-year-old that has won at Group Three level from the stable of Stephen Marsh.
Albert Bosma’s Go Racing went to $260,000 to secure Atishu as a yearling from Waikato Stud’s 2019 Karaka Book 1 draft.
New Zealand bred horses dominated the Group One races across the two days of The Championships at Randwick, remarkably winning seven of the eight Group One races, with Atishu’s victory following feature wins by Kiwi breds Explosive Jack, Pennyweka, Major Beel, Mr Brightside, I Wish I Win and Militarize. – NZ Racing Desk