By Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
Already enjoying a red-letter day at Hastings on Saturday after completing stakes victories with Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin x All About The Coin) and Quintessa (Shamus Award x Chaquinta), it got even better for trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson when progressive mare Skew Wiff (Savabeel x Starvoia) got the upperhand on her last start nemesis, Dragon Leap (Pierro x Pontiana), to collect the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).
The Waikato Stud bred and owned daughter of their mighty stallion Savabeel, had been cut down late by Dragon Leap in the Stud sponsored Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) last month, but turned the tables on him courtesy of a peach of a ride by Opie Bosson.
Bosson took full advantage of a handy barrier draw (4) to position the four-year-old mare behind leaders Pier and Callsign Mav and it was apparent she was travelling like the winner as far as 800m out from the finish.
Bosson urged her to the front at the 250m and she withstood a late charge from Dragon Leap and another quality four-year-old mare in Legarto to capture her first stakes win and third career victory after placing second twice at Group One level during her three-year-old season.
Bergerson admitted the thrill of securing his maiden Group One victory in his first year of training for the Te Akau Racing juggernaut would take a little while to sink in, however, he was quick to thank the team around him.
“It is just fantastic,” he said.
“I guess I get a better opportunity than most young trainers as I’m lucky to train at Te Akau and get to work with the fantastic horses that David (Ellis), Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and Mark (Walker) buy, while we are supported by fantastic studs like Waikato Stud.
“People would kill to be in my position and I’m just so grateful and thankful to be here.
“They have taken a chance on me and I just want to be able to thank them and the staff who are home at the coalface.”
Bergerson also paid tribute to the ride by Bosson.
“It certainly helps having him on your side,” he said.
“He got her into a lovely spot and the last thing we said was to hold her up as long as possible as she has a short, sharp sprint.
“I thought Dragon Leap was coming to get her like he did last time and I was hoping not again.
“She is not very big but just a tough little mare.”
Bosson, who collected the winning feature race treble with victories on Tokyo Tycoon in the Lised El Roca - Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) and Quintessa in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), was beaming as he made his way back to the winners’ enclosure.
“She was in the zone today with her mind on the job,” Bosson said.
“She can be a bit wayward at times but she got into a beautiful spot and it was just a matter of sitting and waiting as we got there (the front) too soon last start.
“I could hear them coming but to her credit so did she and she pinned her ears back and kept fighting.
“She’s been a work in progress so full credit to her today.”
Skew Wiff becomes the 32nd individual Group One winner for Waikato Stud’s eight-time New Zealand Champion Stallion Savabeel who his currently serving his 19th season at the mighty Matamata nursey.
She is the first foal of stakes winning Starcraft mare Starvoia, a daughter of Gr.1 South Australian Oaks (2000m) winner Dowry who is a half-sister to former top galloper Fatal, a winner of nine races including the Gr.2 Japan-New Zealand International Trophy (1600m). - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk