The Gavin Sharrock-trained galloper Stipulator announced her candidacy for the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month with a stylish performance to break her maiden status in the Metcalfe Real Estate 3YO (1200m) at Hawera.
Having just her fourth start and first in a new campaign, the daughter of Darci Brahma relished the Soft5 surface as she powered home out wide in the home straight to race away from last year’s Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) winner Pignan, scoring comfortably by just on two lengths in the hands of apprentice Ciel Butler.
Sharrock was delighted to see his charge put her first win on the board after displaying some improved racing manners.
“She has always been promising but has been a bit slow in the gates and done things wrong, however she is a very good galloper,” Sharrock said.
“I’m hoping she is going to get over a bit more ground as she holds a nomination for the 1000 Guineas.
“She has had a win and a second at he jumpouts before today and I was happy with her.
“I haven’t mapped how we will get to the 1000 Guineas just yet but I will step her up to 1400m next and see how we go.”
Butler was all smiles as she described how the race unfolded after a slow getaway.
“I’ve ridden her the whole way through and she is always tardy out of the gates,” she said.
“I wasn’t too worried because I know how good a finish she has.
“I wanted to put the pressure on turning for home and go a good drag into it before she let down really well in the straight.
“I have done three jump-outs on her before this and every time she has improved and just keeps getting better.
“She was able to show her real ability today.”
Rated a $21 chance by TAB bookmakers for the 1000 Guineas, Stipulator is the first foal of Ekraar mare Katie’s Dynasty and comes from a family of blueblood performers including Group One winners Gurner’s Lane, Sovereign Red, Trichelle and 1997 Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Foxwood.
Race favourite Pignan lost no admirers with a gritty effort in her campaign opener, with plenty of improvement to come as she also heads towards the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on 18 November.