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​Outstanding Weekend for Haunui Graduates

27 November 2017

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Summer has finally arrived in New Zealand and with it, tracks to suit with Saturday racing proving a fruitful day for Haunui graduates with four stakes performers – three in New Zealand and one in Australia.

Connections eying the 2018 rendition of the Karaka million will have breathed a sigh of relief when they realised that MELT (NZ) (Iffraaj), a dominant and impressive winner of the Listed Ashford Lodge Stakes (1100m), isn’t eligible but her win on Saturday suggests that there will be at least one feature two-year-old race this season with her name on it.

Bred and owned by Andrew Fowler, Melt was on debut for trainer Nigel Tiley having won a trial at Avondale on the 16thof November. The daughter of Iffraaj (GB) (Zafonic) didn’t disappoint and dealt to her opposition with ease. “When I looked at the form in the race and knowing what I’d done with the filly prior to her winning her trial, I was pretty confident,” said Nigel Tiley today. “She’s a very mature, strong filly for a two-year-old and she’s very professional and that showed on Saturday,” he said. “She’s come through the race in great order and all going well, we will head to the Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Years Day and if she came through that well, we would look at the Group One Sistema Stakes and then, the Sire’s Produce,” he said. “But it will be race by race and it all depends on how she handles everything but like I said, she is very professional and mature.”

Runner-up Bit Lippy (NZ) (Showcasing) made it a Haunui-sired and graduate quinella in the race. Also on debut, Bit Lippy races in the colours of Emma Evans however he is owned by her daughter Danielle who has been an avid race goer with her parents from an early age with Bit Lippy her first foray into ownership.

Click here to view the Listed Ashford Park Stakes.

Later in the day it was the stayers to the fore in the Group Three Counties Cup with Haunui graduate MAYGROVE (Aus) (Authorized) stamping his mark on the staying ranks, defying his top weight of 60kg to take victory, adding the Counties Cup to the Awapuni, Fielding and Wellington Cups already in the trophy cabinet. Watch his Counties Cup win here.

Bred by Laurel Oak Lady Zhivago Syndicate, which is managed by Australian agent Louis Mihalyka, Maygrove is a graduate of Haunui’s 2012 Select Sale draft and fetched $110,000 in the ring to the bid of Bruce Perry. Maygrove is the third Counties Cup winner for Haunui in the last five years with Annie Higgins taking honours in 2013 and Vavasour in 2015.

Topping off a great day on the track for Haunui graduates, CELEBRITY DREAM (NZ) (Thorn Park) landed the Listed Jungle Mist Classic (1200m) in Perth. A member of the Haunui foundation family, Celebrity Dream is the third foal of Group Three winner VALPOLICELLA (NZ) (Red Ransom) whose first foal was Group winner and Group One performer VILANOVA (NZ) (Commands) whilst her second foal was Waikato and Counties Cup winner VAVASOUR (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice).

“It was certainly a very good day at the office,” said Haunui Farm’s Managing Director, Mark Chitty. “For us to have three stakes winners and a stakes performer off the farm in one day is a massive result,” he said. “They’re days to be celebrated and it’s testament to a great team of staff we have here at Haunui and of course our clients who entrust us with the management of their bloodstock,” said Mark.