IN Racing
Stud continuing to celebrate with top families
“Mark and the stable have held her in very high regard, so it was great to get that result and it was a lovely ride."
Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | March 04, 2024
Certainly winning the Gr.3 Mufhasa Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Waikato Stud celebrated trans-Tasman success at the weekend with female representatives of two of their leading families and the nursery is well-placed to continue reaping future rewards.

The Matamata farm’s colours were carried to victory by Savabeel filly Certainly in the Gr.3 Mufhasa Stakes (1400m) while their champion stallion also sired homebred Gr.2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) winner Atishu.

Australia now beckons the Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained Certainly, a retained daughter of the Pins mare Frankly whose four foals to race have all been successful.

“It is O’Reilly and Courtza’s family and funnily enough we’ve got a bit of that family but not a hell of a lot,” farm principal Mark Chittick said.

“Over the last couple of years, we have been very conscious of Savabeel’s stage of life and we’re not going to be able to keep making these fillies forever.

“We’re keeping an eye on that and will be doing so in the future.”

A half-sister to dual Listed winner Ocean Beyond, Certainly provided her trainers and rider Opie Bosson with a notable victory.

“It was lovely to be part of Te Akau and Opie’s first win on the new Ellerslie track,” Chittick said.

“Mark and the stable have held her in very high regard, so it was great to get that result and it was a lovely ride.

“He needed the right horse underneath him to get out and do what she did, obviously we were rapt and excited about going forward.”

Certainly has bounced through her latest outing well and will now likely join Te Akau’s Cranbourne base.

“Mark and I had a bit of a yarn and he said she has come through the run extremely well,” Chittick said.

“He’s leaning toward the Group Three race (Alexandra Stakes, 1600m) in three weeks’ time and then maybe the Australasian Oaks (Gr.1, 2000m) or something like that.”

Frankly has an unraced juvenile filly by Ocean Park and is in foal to Noverre after producing a daughter to the Group One-winning son of Savabeel last year.

Dual Group One winner Atishu was sold at Karaka in 2019 to Albert Bosma’s Go Racing for $260,000 and is out of the No Excuse Needed mare Posy, a sister to three-time Group One winner Daffodil.

Waikato Stud retained and raced Atishu’s sister Mazzolino, who won the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) and was a multiple black-type placegetter.

“She is back on the farm and is in foal to Super Seth,” Chittick said.

Posy is in foal to Ardrossan and hails from a family, that also features Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Orchestral and the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Aegon, the farm has been involved with for decades.

“It’s a great family and our entry came some 30 years or so ago with our relationship with Chris Turner (of Veandercross fame),” Chittick said.

“It started in the Palmerston North days of Thornton Park through Head Of The River, Chris owned her and we went 50/50 and she came up with us to Waikato Stud.”

Head Of The River produced seven winers, including Posy’s dam Spring, a daughter of O’Reilly.

“As a yearling, Spring was a bit immature so we kept her and bought Chris’ half-share out,” Chittick said.

She won her first two starts as a three-year-old before finishing sixth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and then suffered a serious injury.

“Spring broke a leg in the Bayer Classic (Gr.1, 1600m), but was fortunately saved,” Chittick said.

Meanwhile, another high-class daughter of Savabeel will represent the stud and Te Akau Racing at Flemington on Saturday when Skew Wiff steps out in the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).

“She will run and we are taking on the stablemate Imperatriz, so let’s hope Te Akau will quinella the race,” Chittick said.

Waikato Stud Certainly Mark Chittick Opie Bosson Savabeel Atishu Gr.3 Alexandra Stakes Skew Wiff Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap