Elarqam’s perfect start

Elarqam’s perfect start


Opinion
Champion mare Attraction with her colt foal by the mighty Frankel, named 'Elarqam' and now a two-year-old Group winner. Photo by Virginia Harvey

Champion mare Attraction with her colt foal by the mighty Frankel, named 'Elarqam' and now a two-year-old Group winner. Photo by Virginia Harvey

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ENGLAND’S prestigious classic races next year could well be on the agenda for up-and-coming Great Britain-bred two-year-old Elarqam following a perfect start to his racing career with two wins from two starts. 

Easily winning his debut at York, England last September, the Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum owned Elarqam won again when taking the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket over seven furlongs. Participants of the 2015 The Land/Quadrant Journeys Breeding and Racing Tour should recall that we saw Elarqam, but as a foal with her dam Attraction, at the magnificent Floors Stud in the north of England. 

A 1.6 million pounds Tattersalls October Yearling Sale graduate in 2016, Elarqam’s champion racing parents are Frankel and Attraction, who between them won 15 Group 1 races.  Like classics winner Attraction, Elarqam is trained by Mark Johnston at Middleham in central England. 

Bong Bong races

UNSETTLED weather resulting with a thunder storm, which left surface water in the straight, was deemed by stewards unsafe to continue racing at the recent annual Bong Bong picnic races. Sadly this cut short the final two races including the cup event, at its historic venue near Bowral in the Southern Highlands. 

However, 25-year-old amateur hoop Billy Owen starred with two winners from the four races run; winning aboard the Nick Olive trained Usain Brockstar (by Stryker) and on Ain’t She A Dane (California Dane), for local conditioner Sarah Murray-Leslie. 

Based in the southern districts, Owen has ridden five winners this season just two behind arch rival Ricky Blewitt, who was named NSW champion picnic jockey last season. The Narromine based Blewitt had to be content with two placings at Bong Bong. 

Hinchinbrook in the news

HINCHINBROOK, who stands at the Mitchell family’s Yarraman Park, Scone, has been in the news with his well-grown juvenile fetching top price of $NZ460,000 at the New Zealand Ready To Run Two-Year-Old Sale at Karaka near Auckland recently. 

Selling four months earlier for $65,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast, the two-year-old colt was sold to new Hong Kong based racing consortium Sweetbriar Equine, which is headed by David Lui and Karl Chan.  

Easily winning his debut at York, England...Elarqam won again when taking the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket over seven furlongs.

By champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock, Hinchinbrook also took honours for three or more sold by average, with his three lots averaging $NZ303,300. Hinchinbrook’s stable companion I Am Invincible also highlighted at the sale with his black colt (from Masonette) fetching $NZ370,000. A grey colt by young New Zealand import and promising sire Reliable Man (whose oldest southern hemisphere youngsters are three-year-olds), sold for $NZ430,000. A grey Great Britain-bred son of Australian shuttle horse and outstanding European sire Dalakhani, Reliable Man won the 2011 Prix du Jockey Club-G1 at Chantilly (French Derby), and in Australia the ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes-G1 at Randwick. 

Standing at the Gerry Harvey owned Westbury Stud, in New Zealand, Reliable Man should be fondly recalled by my 2011 The Land/Quadrant Journeys United Kingdom Breeding and Racing Tour. One participant put her hard-earned cash on Reliable Man at that race meet at Chantilly – and who was at excellent odds, for one reason – she stated “I backed the horse because I have “one” of those”. This paid her handsome dividends.

Peintre highlights Xtravagant 

NEWS of the recent death of versatile Great Britain-bred stallion Peintre in New Zealand, aged 25, should alert breeders to the fact that the sireline lives on via his outstanding galloper and new stud son Xtravagant whom is set to take his place. 

Standing his first season at the long-established Kelly family owned and managed Newhaven Park near Boorowa, Xtravagant was a champion three-year-old in New Zealand where he won six races (including two Group 1 races) from 1200 metres to 1600 metres. Xtravagant possessed some of that versatility displayed by the numerous outstanding gallopers sired by Peintre, who was one of the most versatile stallions of recent times. 

An English-bred son of Northern Dancer’s champion Be My Guest, Peintre had stood the past 20 years at Rich Hill Stud, which is among the leading New Zealand properties and is located near Matamata in the Waikato region of the North Island. 

Winner of the Champion Stakes-G1 in Ireland and the King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes-G1 in England, Peintre sired 16 Group 1 winners (nine of them in Australia) that won from 1200 metres to 3200 metres. Mufhasa (who raced in Australia as King Mufhasa) was twice New Zealand Horse Of The Year and showed the way over sprint distances for his sire Peintre. 

Then there was his popular Sydney crowd favourite and Chris Waller trainer sprinter/miler Rangirandoo, while his memorable two miler was Prince Of Penzance who carried Michelle Payne to her historic Melbourne Cup victory in 2015. 

At the time of his death, Peintre was New Zealand’s leading active sire of Group 1 winners with only champion sires Redoute’s Choice and Fastnet Rock boasting that they had more Group 1 winners from their Australasian bred progeny.

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