IN Racing
Tivaci looking to go back-to-back in Flight Stakes
Waikato Stud stallion Tivaci has the chance of recording back-to-back wins in the Gr.1 Flight Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
NZ Racing Desk | September 30, 2022
Photo: Supplied

Waikato Stud stallion Tivaci has the chance of recording back-to-back wins in the Gr.1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

A Group One winner himself, Tivaci secured his first elite-level victory as a sire in last year’s edition of the race courtesy of Never Been Kissed, and he has a strong chance this year with his Group Two-winning daughter Wolverine.

She showed early promise in New Zealand when trained by Roydon Bergerson, for whom she won her first three career starts, including the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) and Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m), before finishing runner-up in both the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

She subsequently joined Kris Lees’ Newcastle barn and has had two starts in Australia, running sixth in the Gr.2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) last month before running third in the Gr.2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight ago.

Randwick was rated a Soft7 on Friday morning and Lees doesn’t see the track conditions as a concern for his filly.

I think she will be comfortable in it. She has handled the soft okay since she has been out here. She has worked well on it,” Lees told RSN.

“She has got a more favourable gate (1), albeit that inside can be a bit off at Randwick as the day progresses.

“It will enable her to be a little closer in the run. We have been dictated by bad gates to go back. She has been strong late but is probably getting too far out of her ground.

“At least with a soft draw she can maybe take up a bit more forward position.”

The Flight Stakes has attracted just 10 entrants but Lees believes it will be a competitive edition of the race.

“It is a really competitive race. I think any of the top six in the market could be winning a race like that,” he said.

Wolverine hasn’t been tested further than 1400m, but Lees believes a mile will suit his filly.

“All the indications are that she will run out a strong mile,” he said.

Lees is unsure what Wolverine will target following Saturday and said the Gr.1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield next month is an option.

“She is in the nominations (for the Thousand Guineas). It is something to consider,” he said.

“There are still some nice three-year-old races, albeit they will be against the boys in Sydney.

“We will cross that bridge after Saturday.”

Wolverine was purchased by Bergerson and bloodstock agent Chris Rutten for $50,000 out of Waikato Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft.

Australian Bloodstock subsequently bought into the filly and she will carry their familiar silks this weekend.

Her sire Tivaci stands at Waikato Stud for a fee of $20,000+GST.

Waikato Stud Tivaci Flight Stakes Never Been Kissed Wolverine Roydon Bergerson Wakefield Challenge Stakes Eclipse Stakes Karaka Million 2YO Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes silver Shadow Tea Rose Stakes Kris Lees Chris Rutten New Zealand Bloodstock Australian Bloodstock