New announcement. Learn more

Sunline ScholarshipScholarshipNew Zealand BloodstockBreeders' BulletinCambridge StudRich HillCovid-19BreedingIrish National StudWaikato StudHaunui FarmPearl SeriesBelardoCheveley Park StudGavelhouse PlusBreeders BulletinBrighthill FarmCoolmoreWindsor Park StudBruce SladeLittle Avondale StudRITATaylor MadeTrelawney StudBruce's BlogBulletinMapperley StudMatt's BlogMatthew ScownNovara ParkWeanling SaleAlmanzorIffraajJamie RichardsMatt ScownNational Breeding AwardsOcean ParkRobert DennisSatono AladdinThe Oaks StudBevan SmithDavid Morris BlogFirst Crop Sire FocusHighden ParkHolly RossHolly's BlogNZTRSavabeelTavistockTime TestValachi DownsWellfield LodgeWentwood GrangeWestbury StudWhite Robe Lodge2020 New SiresBevan's BlogCurraghmoreEminentJamie's BlogKeith and Faith Taylor Equine ScholarshipKiwi BredLance Forbes BlogMelody BelleNathan TrumperNZB Pearl SeriesPer IncantoRaise The FlagRobert's BlogBenji KingBenji's BlogCameron Ring BlogContributerDanielle Southey BlogGavelhouseGordon CunninghamGrangewilliam StudHannah AireyHannah MeeHello YoumzainNZB South Island SaleSouth Island SaleSweynesseWelfareCharm SpiritDylan TreweekDylan's BlogEmbellishHannah's BlogInglewood StudKoldingLaura McNabMarie LeicesterNewmarketNZB InsuranceReliable ManRibchesterSam BergersonVadamosVespaWroteWyndspelleAce HighAide MemoireBagalolliesBeyond the BarriersBreeding AwardsCameron RingChris LuoniCoronavirusDalgharDarci BrahmaDavid ArcherDon GoodwinEtah JamesHall of FameJon SnowLance ForbesMilan ParkNZ Racing Hall of FameOcean EmperorPolly GreyPrefermentRacingRichard WrightRoad to RockSacred FallsShamexpressShockingShowcasingSir Patrick HoganStaphanosSuper SethTivaciTurn Me LooseVanbrughWaikato Stallion WeekendWeigh InYearling SalesZedAlamosaAlice JeffriesAncient SpiritAtlanteAuckland Breeder AwardsAvantageBeauty GenerationBLOODSTOCK TAXATIONBradbury ParkBreeder of The YearCallsign MavCatalystCEO BlogChief Executive's BlogChristopher GraceClyde BuckinghamCoolmore IrelandDean McKenzieDennis BrothersDorian KosDunstan Breeder of the MonthEducationExplosive BreedingFalkirkFasttrack Breeders ProfileFoster FoalFrankelGerry HarveyGingernutsHealthy RiversHighviewIgraineJakkalberryJennifer EcclesJoan EganJohnny Get AngryJomara BloodstockKaraka 2021Karaka MillionLion's RoarLisa LattaLloyd MonehanMare ReturnsMark ChittyMark LuptonMembershipMorgan WilksNearco StudNick KingNZTBA Waikato BranchOcean BillyOceanexOff The Track ThoroughbredsPattern CommitteePear Tree FarmPinsRacing Industry BillRangitikei Gold CupReady To Run SaleRoaring LionRock 'n' PopRyan StaceyShannon TaylorSneaking To WinStallion paradeStallion parade 2019Surprise BabyTarzinoTe AkauTe Aroha Breeders DayTen SovereignsThe Chosen OneTheileria equiTofaneToffee TongueTony PikeTony RiderUnusual SuspectVerry ElleegantWaikato BranchWar DecreeWarren PeggWarwick JeffriesWeanling WalkWillie and Karen CalderWinston PetersYearn2015/16 Handicaps2017 Waikato Stallion Parade2020 Service fees2020-21 Broodmare of the Year2021 New Season Sire Preview2021 NZB Weanling Sale30 Day Foal NotificationAblazeACC ForumACC LEVIESAdvantageAegonAerovelocityAl Basti EquiworldAlan GrovesAlan WindleAllan SharrockAllureAlphastarAmazing StarAndrew FowlerAndrew SeabrookAndrew StewartAnnabel WigleyAnne-Marie KingAnother DollarArdsley StudArrivederciArthur AvisAternatinAuckland Stallion ParadeAuckland Stallion Parade 2017Auret FamilyAvonalloAzamourBaggy GreenBansha House StablesBarbara PerryBattle of the BreedsBeaufort DownsBelle familyBen KwokBerkley StudBernard SaundryBessBig MikeBill GleesonBlandford LodgeBohemian BluesBonnevalBonniegirlBonny LassBostonianBoticaBRANCH CAPITATIONBred To WinBreeder Of The Year 2016Breeder ProfileBreeders Bulletin Winter 2016Breeders' Bulletin Summer 2016/17Breeders' StakesBrent and Cherry TaylorBrian CollinsBright AbyssBroodmare Of The Year 2016Broodmare of the year 2020Bruce HarveyBruce PerryBryerley ParkBuckinghamBurgundyCancer SocietyCareers DayCarol MarshallCathay PacificCatWalkCelia CrawshawCharles RobertsCharmontCherry TaylorCheveley ParkChiantiChocanteChris GraceCircus MaximusClearview ParkClimate changeColdplayComplacentCoolmore AmericaCouleeCount ZeroCountofmontecristoCovCoventinaCrosshavenCylinder BeachDan MyersDaniel NakhleDanny RolstonDavid EllisDavid GreeneDavid MillerDavid MorrisDavid PaykelDavid WalshDawn PatrolDe GruchyDeloitte ReportDerrynDezDijon BleuDivine ProphetDolcettoDormello StudDr Frances PeatDunstan FeedsDunstan Feeds Stayers ChampionshipDunstan Feeds Under The RadarDunstan Horse FeedsDylan JohnsonElephantElusive BoxersEmblemEmma EvansEnglandEnvironmentEpisode OneEquibreed Seminar 28th AugustEquifibreEquine Property OwnersEvent StarsExplosive JackExportsFabulousFanaticFarriersFasig-TiptonFastrack Breeder ProfileFasttrackFerlaxFerrandoFiona BassettFirst Season Sire ReviewFive to MidnightFlemmington FarmFlying MontyFlyingflynnFoal NZFoalsFormidableFoxbridgeFrank ConwayFree Handicaps 2016-17Full of BeautyG1 DinnerGalloping GerteGary WallaceGeorgeGeorge ChittickGermanicusGift Of PowerGilltown StudGina ShickGoffsGore GuineasGraham BaxGraham de GruchyGreg TomlinsonGus WigleyGuy LowryGypsy FairHallmark StudHamdan Al MaktoumHappy StarHard MerchandizeHe Waka Eke NoaHe's Our RokkiiHe's RemarkableHEALTH & SAFETY ACTHedwood ThoroughbredsHeniHigh ChaparralHighview StudHiyaamHoney RiderHorse ambulanceHouse of CartierHoward Be Thy NameHumidorI Am A StarIain RentonImmigrationImperatrizImposing LassImposinglyInfantryInside AgentIRDIrelandIts Time For MagicJanine DunlopJeanette BroomeJen CampinJericho CupJezabeelJimmy ChouxJohn BergerJohn FokerdJohn Messara Report Release Date 30 August 2018John ThompsonJohn WoodJonny OrrJulian CorbanJust Got HomeJustamaizKawiKay HoodKaye SandersKeanoKeenelandKevin GrayKevin HickmanKevin PrattKhalesKick BackKinaneKing of ComedyKoru ThoroughbredsKyla RobbKyla Robb BlogKylie FawcettKylin 500 ClubLa DiosaLa RomaneeLasarlaLegless VeuveLet Her RipLetham StudLib PetagnaLibby BleakleyLifesaverLightning StakesLincoln BlueLincoln FarmsLiz AllenLloch-Haven ThoroughbredsLondon ExpressLong Acres StudLorna MooreLuigi MuolloMadame De SoirMajor TomMakfiMakfi StakesMangaroa Flo JoMansfield FarmMarch 2016Mark CorcoranMark TreweekMary Lynne Ryan Young Achiever AwardMaster PaintonMay SaleMcQuadeMeeska MooskaMegan LieftingMeleka BelleMembersMiami boundMichael MoranMichael O'KeefeMichael SheridanMicheal StedmanMichelle SabaMick PrestonMiss Three StarsMiss VistaMiss WilsonMondoraniMongolian khanMonovaleMonovale FarmMontoyas SecretMonty RobertsMonza CircuitoMPIMustang ValleyNahkleNeedle and ThreadNew zealand racing hall of fameNew Zealand Small Breeder of the YearNigel AuretNight's WatchNitrogenNot An OptionNurse KitchenNZ Bred G1 WinnersNZ Breeder of the YearNZ First season sires 2018NZ HOTYNZ Racing AwardsNZ Racing StructureNZB AirfreightNZB Yearling SalesNZEHANZERFNZRBNZTBA Breeders Bulletin Autumn 2018NZTBA OfficeNZTBA RestructureNZTBA Te Aroha Breeders DayNZTROF March 2017OctapussyOctasongOlly TuthillOn The RocksOne One TwoOnly WordsOpulenceOur AbbadeanOWNERS FEDERATIONPaisley ParkPark Hill StablesPaul GollanPaul MoroneyPaul YesbergPencarrowPencarrow StudPentirePerfect FitPerfectly ReadyPeter and Heather CrofskeyPeter and Sue WestendPeter NewsomPeter SmithPeter WalkerPhilamorPhilip SmythPhill CataldoPiaggioPins 'N' NeedlesPiroplasmosisPlatinum InvadorPlusvitalPour MoiPRIMARY ITOPrince Of BrooklynPrincess JenniProisirProisir FoalsProm QueenPucciniPure ChampionPurple SectorQuiz NightRace Fields LegislationRaceFormRacing hall of fameRacing MinisterRacing Reform BillRageeseRaise You TenRavelston StudRaven DarkholmeRed GiantRedwoodReliable TeamRemindRichard CollettRick WilliamsRide To TimeRip Van WinkleRiva CapriRoad ShowsRobin ArcherRobt DaweRock OnRodger VarianRodmor Trust Lecture SeriesRomancerRon LaddRose of TraleeSacred DaySacred ElixirSalesSandy MooreSaracinoSaratogaSavigneSavile RowSavy yong blonkScorpzScott BaseSeabrookSeagramSean HawkinsSeason 5SeawayShadwellShane KennedyShoshoneShout the BarShoworosesSir James FletcherSky DarciSleeping BeautySophie's ChoiceSouth Island Foster FoalSpanish WhisperSpecial MemoriesSpiethSpyglass Hill SyndicateStakesStallion Coverings 2020Stallion Parades 2016Stallion Register 2018Start WonderingSteel StilettosStephen AutridgeStranglesSue and Peter WestendSummer PassageSunlineSunset PassSuper EasySupergiantSupreme HeightsSusan ArcherSusan WalkerSweet LeaderSweet TreatTaranaki Breeders' StakesTattersallsTattyboglerTaxTe ArohaTelperionThe Bold OneThe BostonianThe InformantThe KingThe Sunlight TrustThere You GoTicklishTivaci ShuttleTom LaneTommy HeptinstallTomsTrain The Trainer WorkshipTravelling LightTravimyfriendTrevor LukeTrue EnoughTurrettTutta La ClasseUberlebenUnderthemoonlightUpper CutUS Navy FlagVamos BebeVerdiVern TrilloVernanmeVicki PascoeVicki PikeVisasVolatile MixWaikato Regional Council ReportWait A SecWally O'HearnWayne DarlingWayne PikeWeanling educationWell DoneWellington BranchWertherWhat's The StoryWhite Robe Lodge HandicapWho Shot ThebarmanWilliam FellWinstarWinxWTBAXpressionXpressmymindXtravagantYogiZabeelZacintoZebrowskiZennistaZigwig
TAGS

Spratt scripts Telegraph upset with Mercurial

Mercurial edges out Express Yourself to claim Group One glory in the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham. - Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)
Mercurial edges out Express Yourself to claim Group One glory in the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.

Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

Sam Spratt teamed up with arguably New Zealand’s most improved racehorse to land a boilover victory in Saturday’s Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham – her third time triumphing in a meeting that once came close to claiming her life.

Saturday’s Telegraph heroics aboard Mercurial (Burgundy x Roxette) came some 21 years after Spratt suffered severe head injuries in a shocking fall in an undercard race on Telegraph Day on January 25, 2003. She not only recovered but later made a triumphant return to the saddle, going on to join New Zealand’s 1000-win club and boasting 20 Group One wins and counting.

Spratt is now a three-time Telegraph winner, with Mercurial following in the footsteps of her old favourite Mufhasa (2009 and 2011).

“It’s 21 years ago almost to the day that I had my fall on this day at this track, so it was good to tick this one off,” Spratt said. “I don’t have any memory of it – it’s basically a year of lost memory, so it’s just what people say. I wasn’t really supposed to be riding again after it, but I’m too stubborn for that!”

Mercurial arrived at Trentham on Saturday as a last-start Group One placegetter, having finished third behind Waitak and Bonny Lass in the Sistema Railway (1200m) at Pukekohe on New Year’s Day. But the five-year-old flew under the radar as an $18 outsider in a field headed by Bonny Lass ($2.90) and Dragon Leap ($4.20).

Spratt showed her customary front-running prowess aboard Mercurial, recovering from an awkward start to charge forward and take up a position on the outside of Express Yourself.

The pace came right out of the race through the middle stages, causing significant interference to several runners in the chasing pack and leading Lincoln’s Kruz to dislodge jockey Jonathan Riddell.

Mercurial stayed well out of trouble and was full of running as he threw down the gauntlet to Express Yourself at the top of the straight. That rival rose to meet the challenge, and the pair went to war at the 300m.

Favourite Bonny Lass regathered herself after a rocky run and found the line strongly late in the piece, but it remained a two-horse battle to the line and Mercurial won it by a nose. Bonny Lass finished third, a neck behind the first pair.

“That was really good,” Spratt said. “He knuckled a little bit at the start, but he showed plenty of pace to get back up there. We managed to get some easy sectionals after that.

“He’s so tough. The more they came at him, the more he stuck his head out. I thought I might have had my nose in front on the line, but I wasn’t totally sure. I didn’t want to get too confident and excited. It was awesome to see the photo finish confirm that we’d won it.”

The Telegraph was the sixth win of a 27-start career for the Stephen Marsh-trained Mercurial, who has also had 11 minor placings. He has now earned more than $514,000 in stakes for an ownership group that includes his five breeders.

Mercurial was a Rating 75 winner at the equivalent meeting 12 months ago, and his first start in open company was in only March of last year. In his 11 starts since then, he has recorded two wins and six placings and established himself among the country’s top-flight sprinters.

“This is a massive thrill,” Marsh said. “If you’d asked me even six months ago whether this horse could win a Telegraph or a Railway, I wouldn’t have said he could.

“But he’s just so tough. A couple of people even said to me before the race that he’s so laid-back and such a good doer, it almost looks like he needs another run. He’ll go home tonight, he’ll eat up, and he’ll probably end up going around again on Karaka Millions night. He really is the man.

“He’s just one of those horses that works, eats, sleeps and performs. Every run this time in has been unbelievable.

“We got a beautiful run outside the leader today. They were clipping heels and in all sorts of trouble behind us, but Sam put him into a good spot and he’s just so tough. I actually thought we’d run second on the line, but we got the win.

“It’s a great team of owners. They bred him and have still got the mare. They all came to the Railway and they’re all here again today, so it’s a real thrill for them. I actually only got this horse because another trainer didn’t answer his phone, so I was only their second choice! But we’ve got them in the team and I think we’ll have them for life now.

“They don’t give Group Ones away, and there’s just nothing that beats it. It’s a great buzz.”



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT