The Waikato Branch of the NZTBA hosted a marquee at Te Aroha to witness the running of the Gr.1 Fibre Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.
Around 120 members from throughout the country enjoyed the trackside location, the camaraderie and witnessed some fabulous racing including the all the way win by the Savabeel (AUS) mare Nicoletta in the group one event.
Waikato Branch President Keith Lunn was very pleased with the turn out and how the day played out.
“I thought it was a good day with a very happy crowd,” he said.
“I was pleased with the numbers which swelled before the big race, and I felt that atmosphere was really good. The committee did a wonderful job with the meet and greet and the food, and everybody I have spoken thoroughly enjoyed their day.”
Adding to the event Highview Stud kindly donated a nomination to their High Chaparral(IRE) stallion Wrote(IRE), which was won by Auckland branch member Steve Cole. Several other spot prizes from the generously donated Mills Reef Winery were also won by various members.
The feature race winner Nicoletta (ex Celtic Crown[USA])was one of six Savabeel(AUS)mares in the classy 11 horse field, and went to the line a long head in front of Supera making it a Savabeel (AUS) quinella. She became Savabeel’s 18th individual group one winner, and the following day Rattan (ex) won the Gr.2 The Sprint Cup in Hong Kong becoming his sire’s 19th stakes winner this season.
It was Nicoletta’s fifth win and her second for the season, the other being the Gr.3 Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breeders Stakes in October.
As a three-year-old Nicoletta won twice and finished the season with a fourth placing in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks. On the way she won the Gr.3 Wellfield Desert Gold Stakes, and was placed second in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram’s Classic, and fourth in the Gr.3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes.
Her performances that season contributed to her breeder Goodwood Stud in the Manawatu being awarded the New Zealand Breeder of the Year title, helped along the way by their only other group one graduate Gingernuts.
While at four she won one race, but by the end of the season had run gallant third placings in last year’s Gr.1 Fibre Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes, and the Gr.2 Travis Stakes.
Nicoletta is the fourth foal from the American mare Celtic Crown (USA) who is by Doneraile Court(USA) a son of Seattle Slew (USA). Her dam Miss Turkomania (by Turkoman[USA]) was placed and is herself a daughter of Saxon Shore a three-quarter sister to the stakes winning mare Glorious Song (CAN) the dam of Singspiel (IRE), Rahy (USA) and Rakeen(USA).
“She’s an interesting mare, we bought her from America,” Goodwood Stud’s William Fell told the NZ Racing News recently.
“We did the deal through New Zealand Bloodstock. They were contacted by an agent who had a few mares for sale and we were in the market for some mares.
“She had won a Listed race in Washington State and she’s got a quite American odd-ball pedigree, but she’s been a good producer, obviously highlighted by Nicoletta.
“It was something a little different, a bit of American form and it seems to have paid off.”
As well as Nicoletta, Celtic Crown has left two winners Zimzee by Chinese Dragon(USA) who won six races here and in New Caledonia, and St Suswa also by Savabeel (AUS) who has won five races in the Phillipines. A colt by Rock’N’Pop (AUS) Rex Royale has been placed her two-year-old Tavistock daughter sold to Mick Price at Karaka for $50,000 in 2018.
She has a Tivaci (AUS) weanling filly and is back in foal to that stallion.
“She’s been a good mare to us. We might keep this Tivaci (weanling filly), we’ll see,” concluded Fell,” But we certainly do want a filly to keep and race and keep the family going.” - Michelle Saba