Former Kiwi mare Atishu (Savabeel x Posy) relished the good tempo in the Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) to take out the feature mares’ race on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.
Sporting the silks of syndicators Go Racing, the five-year-old daughter of Savabeel had put the writing on the wall when finding the line well when fifth in last week’s Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).
On the back of that performance, the Chris Waller-trained mare was sent out $2.50 favourite and punters had little to worry about as the daughter of Savabeel was expertly handled by James McDonald.
Coming from midfield, Atishu stormed home to score by a comfortable two-lengths from Steinem, with another former New Zealand-trained galloper Tokorangi finishing third.
The winner of seven races, Saturday’s Group Two victory is the best performance to date by Atishu, who had previously been a Group Three winner for Waller, while she was a multiple Listed winner in New Zealand when prepared by Stephen Marsh.
“She’s always been a bit unlucky and threatened to win a decent one and she’s got a good prize today,” Waller said.
“Everything’s sort of gone wrong with her over the last eighteen months and even last Saturday she didn’t have a lot of luck in the Empire Rose, so it’s always a great race as a backup plan and she has won over 2000m in New Zealand before. We finally got her up to the trip today and she certainly appreciated it.”
The champion trainer said there were plenty of options for Atishu into the autumn to chase an elusive Group One success.
Winning jockey James McDonald said the speed of the race set by Sirileo Miss was to Atishu’s advantage.
“She relaxed well. The tempo was on and if a high class mare like this couldn’t win today she was in a world of pain,” McDonald said.
“She travelled beautifully into the race, she felt like the winner a long way from home and she would’ve looked like it too.
“She was building towards that solid performance, her run had the writing on the wall last start and backing up, 2000m, by Savabeel, what more could you ask for?”
Bred by Waikato Stud, Atishu is by their champion sire Savabeel out of the No Excuse Needed mare Posy, who won two races and is a sister to the former Champion Three-Year-Old and multiple Group One winner Daffodil.
Atishu is a sister to the Waikato Stud-raced Mazzolino, a smart three-year-old that has placed twice at stakes level from the stable of Stephen Marsh.
Albert Bosma’s Go Racing went to $260,000 to secure Atishu as a yearling from Waikato Stud’s 2019 Karaka Book 1 draft. –
NZ Racing Desk