IN Racing
News In Brief
Maven Belle sidelined, Haunui Farm stallion parade, Icebath looking for Invitation this spring, another stakes win for Almanzor, and Koshu retired.
NZ Racing Desk | September 06, 2022

Maven Belle sidelined

Last season’s Champion two-year-old Maven Belle has been ruled out of the spring care of a chip in a fetlock. 

The Mark Walker-trained daughter of Burgundy won four of her five starts as a juvenile including the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), and the Gr.3 Platinum Homes 2YO Classic (1200m). 

“It had been there for a while and we have decided to take it out,” Walker said. 

“She will miss the spring, but she will be back around Christmas time racing. She looked a bit long in the winter coat, so I think it will be a blessing long term.”

Maven Belle’s only defeat came when a close third in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) behind Lickety Split, and she had also trialled well at Avondale last month. 

Haunui Farm stallion Parade

Haunui Farm are hosting their annual stallion parade this Sunday at 10.30am.

They will showcase their two shuttle stallions Belardo and Ribchester, as well as a selection of youngstock of interest.

Belardo, sire of recent American Group Two winner Golden Phoenix, has sired six black type performers to date in Australasia, twice that of his sire Lope De Vega at the same stage in his career.

Ribchester has returned for his third season at Haunui Farm after his first two seasons were spent in Australia. His first crop of New Zealand conceived yearlings are being readied for Karaka 2023 while in Australia in his first crop of two-year-olds he has left four winners from seven runners already. 

Those interested can RSVP to [email protected] 


Icebath looking for Invitation this spring

Trainer Brad Widdup has confirmed that last year's A$2 million The Invitation (1400m) winner Icebath is being readied for a defence of her crown after connections accepted

their place in the fillies and mares feature run at Randwick on October 22. 

Widdup has set a similar path to last campaign for the six-year-old, with the daughter of Sacred Falls set to tackle the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) three weeks before coming back to the 1400m trip of The Invitation. 

"I've got the blueprint there for her for the race this year. It makes it a hell of a lot easier," Widdup told RacingNSW. 

"The options are two weeks into the Tibbie [Stakes at Newcastle] or three weeks to the Golden Pendant then back up into the Epsom. 

“There was a bit of discussion about the George Main but I'm not sure I want to take on Anamoe and Zaaki. Even if it was wet, why stuff yourself up there when there's a $2 million race in front of her."

Widdup purchased the Waikato Stud-bred filly in Australia as a yearling for $100,000.


Around Midnight strikes up another stakes win for Almanzor

Cambridge Stud shuttler Almanzor welcomed his fourth stakes winner overnight when promising two year-old filly Around Midnight won the Listed Criterium de l’Ouest (1650m) at Craon. 

Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, Around Midnight made it two wins from three starts when she scored a neck win in her first attempt at black-type.

Around Midnight is Almanzor’s third stakes winner in the northern hemisphere, with Dynastic flying his flag in the south, winning the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and runner-up in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) last season.

Almanzor shuttles from Haras d’Etreham in France to Cambridge Stud where the son of Wootton Bassett stands this spring at a fee of $50,000.


Koshu retired

The racing career of promising filly Koshu is over.

The New Zealand-bred filly carried the colours of her breeder-owners Trelawney Stud to victory in her sole raceday start over 1100m on the Kensington track at Randwick.

She was making pleasing progress in her spring preparation, but injury has curtailed her racing career and she will head home to Cambridge to begin her new career as a broodmare.

“Unfortunately she has gone amiss,” trainer John O’Shea told RacingHQ.

“She developed a spiral fracture in her off-hind (leg) and she will be retired.’

“It is really disappointing.”

Koshu is a daughter of Group One winner Satono Aladdin and out of Traditionally mare Syrah, making her a half-sister to Group One winners A Touch Of Ruby and Loire.

Maven Belle Burgundy Lickety Split Haunui Farm Belardo Ribchester Golden Phoenix Lope De Vega Brad Widdup Sacred Falls Anamoe Zaaki Cambridge Stud Almanzor Around Midnight Dynastic Karaka Million Haras d’Etreham Wootton Bassett Koshu Trelawney Stud John O’Shea Satono Aladdin Syrah A Touch Of Ruby Loire