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Crossyourheart extends Centaine's premiership lead

Waikato Stud's late champion sire Centaine extended his lead on the 2006-07 New Zealand broodmare sires' table at the Counties RC meeting at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Two-year-old filly Crossyourheart (Show A Heart-Red Century; bred by Gary Carvell) joined Legs (HBRI Ormond Memorial S. G1) and Alamosa (WRC Wellesley S. LR) on this season's list of domestic stakeswinners from Centaine mares. She made it two wins from two starts in the $50,000 Counties Challenge S. 1100m LR and went some way towards justifying the $210,000 owner Gerald Shand paid for her at this year's New Zealand Premier Sale. (She also collected the lion's share of the TBS "A" bonus attached to the race.)

Four-year-old mare Ritzy Lady (Zabeel-Ever Clever by Centaine) ran a close second in the $125,000 Counties Cup 2100m G2, won by Almutawakel's four-year-old son Chettak.

Crossyourheart, by last season's leading freshman sire in Australia, belongs to a family that has done very well in New Zealand since her third dam Polly Soleil (GB) was imported in 1985 by Waikato studmaster Ron Denby. Her appeal to Mr Denby is easy to work out: she was a half-sister to his good sire Avon Valley. However, she quickly ended up in the ownership of Graeme & Helen-Gaye Bax (now at Blandford Lodge), who bred four winners from her, including G3 Black Sun (Otehi Bay) and G2 Soleil Rouge, grand-dam of both Crossyourheart and the outstanding Hong Kong performer All Thrills Too (Hong Kong Sprint G1). As well, the unraced Soleil Etoile (Casual Lies-Polly Soleil) has left G2 Silky Red Boxer for the Baxes, who understandably have a strong affection for this family.

Centaine, who won his first New Zealand broodmare sire premiership last season, has a comfortable lead on the current table with more than $1.1 million in prizemoney, but Sir Tristram and his sons hold four of the five positions behind him. Kaapstad is in second place with almost $650,000, ahead of Grosvenor, Seachange's damsire Broad Reach, Sir T. himself and Zabeel.

Centaine also appears as damsire in the pedigree of the top-priced lot at last week's New Zealand Ready To Run Sale, the Galileo-Heather colt purchased for $350,000 by Hong Kong trainer Michael Chang, from the Lyndhurst Farm draft.

- Susan Archer


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