Bradbury Park came close to experiencing Group One success last Saturday, but has still had plenty to celebrate recently in the countdown to the National Yearling Sales.
The Matamata-based establishment prepared Belle du Nord for the 2016 National Yearling Sales at Karaka and last weekend the daughter of Reliable Man finished a close second to Age Of Fire in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m).
It is the second time the Cambridge-trained filly has been Group One runner-up. Last season she chased home Melody Belle in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni after winning at Trentham.
“We came oh so close to winning our first Group One,” said Bradbury Park’s Casey Dando.
“With the quality of bloodlines and stock in general improving, we hoping it is not too far away for us.”
Another filly with her foot ready to strike on the Group One till is Contessa Vanessa, who is one of the recent winners to help boost the Bradbury Park’s Book 1 draft at Karaka.
After finishing an unlucky third to Savvy Coup in the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni when late clear, Contessa Vanessa produced a huge effort to win the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day then finished a game second in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on the same track on New Year’s Day.
Bradbury Park is offering a Savabeel colt from the juvenile winner and dual Group Two runner-up Impulsive Dream (Lot 267). Contessa Vanessa’s grandam, Doduo, is a half-sister to Impulsive Dream.
“He’s a lovely colt by Savabeel, very athletic with a super way about him,” said Dando. “He’s one I'm very excited about taking to Karaka.”
Music Magnate, Maltese Ruby and Pokuru Nugget are other recent winners providing a good spinoff for the Bradbury Park Karaka draft.
Bradbury Park’s Lot 166 is a colt by Redwood from Domani Oro. This is the family of Music Magnate, who was a fresh-up winner of the Listed Christmas Classic (1200m) at Randwick on December 30.
Lot 556 is Bradbury Park’s Reliable Man filly from Scarlet Tiger and therefore a half-sister to Maltese Ruby whom Dando describes as ”a gorgeous filly that is everything you could wish for from the Reliable Man - Savabeel cross.”
Maltese Ruby has won twice since the catalogue was printed and has gone from strength to strength for trainers Stephen Ramsay and Julia Ritchie with her four starts for the stable resulting in three wins and a fourth this season.
Savabeel also figures in Bradbury Park’s Lot 485 as the sire of a colt from the O’Reilly mare Pokuru Star. His half-sister, Pokuru Nugget, has also won (at Avondale) since the catalogue was printed.
“He could be the smokey in the draft and could well have more timely updates before sale day,” said Dando.
The Pokuru Star colt is closely related to Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas winner Embellish (also by Savabeel) and Espumoso, who has been sold to Hong Kong interests for a substantial six-figure sum.
Embellish, who is tagged for Melbourne then Sydney autumn campaigns, rounded off his preparation for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic at Ellerslie on Saturday week with a fourth to stablemate Age Of Fire at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, while Espumoso was a convincing winner of his first two starts then a fighting second to Xpression in the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Trentham.
There was even more reason for celebrations at Bradbury Park on Wednesday after Wonder Woman recorded her second win in a 1215-metre Rating 65 at Rotorua.
Wonder Woman was bred by Casey Dando and his wife, Michelle, along with Michelle’s mother, Margaret Messent, and they are all part of the Bradbury Park Wonder Woman Syndicate which shares in racing the daughter of Showcasing.
“We’ve got a cracking Sweynesse half-sister to Wonder Woman possibly heading to the weanling sale at Karaka in May,” said Dando. – Wally O’Hearn