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Chant keeps singing for The Oaks

Chant returns to scale after winning the Eclipse S. G3 at Ellerslie

Chant returns to scale after winning the Eclipse S. G3 at Ellerslie
"Nothing gives us a bigger thrill than owning a stallion and seeing him get his first Group winner," said The Oaks general manager Rick Williams after Chant (Traditionally-Chantenay by Warning) won the $50,000 ARC Eclipse S. 1200m G3 at Ellerslie yesterday. That was only one of several thrills for The Oaks, because the stud's owner, Dick Karreman, also bred and races the elegant, athletic two-year-old filly from the stable of Robert Priscott.

Her victory was hardly a surprise because she had beaten a similar field in the Waikato RC Star Way 1000 LR at Te Rapa three weeks ago, but punters clearly forgave Don Garcia his failure in that race and so the filly was sent out as fifth favourite yesterday. She won by a length from the game Habana (Danasinga), with the fast-finishing Royal Pericles (Stravinsky) a further length away, third, and Don Garcia a soundly beaten sixth.

Chant's second defeat of the best juvenile colts and geldings seen to date raises interest in the return of Blue Skies (by another first-crop sire Spectatorial). At her debut on 5 November she beat Chant at Te Rapa, then ran a close second to Tiger Magic at Otaki. Blue Skies is expected to resume at Ellerslie on 14 January.

Traditionally now heads the Two-Year-Old Sires' table with prizemoney of $53,550, ahead of another first-crop sire, Bertolini ($37,925) and Stravinsky ($34,900). Traditionally has 35 yearlings catalogued in the 2006 NZ National Yearling Sales: eleven in the Premier Sale, 22 in the Select Sale and two in the Festival Sale. The Group One-winning son of Mr Prospector and US champion Personal Ensign will soon begin serving his fourth northern hemisphere book at Ballylinch Stud, Ireland.


- Susan Archer