Well-loved Ruler a deserving winner
after King’s Rose gave her opposition yet another pasting in the Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic at Te Rapa on the weekend.
That was her fifth win in succession and if anything was even more impressive than any before, which includes the New Zealand 1000 Guineas and the Royal Stakes.
King’s Rose had a clear lead in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series going into Saturday’s race and the eight points she added to her tally gave her an unassailable lead with two series races remaining.
That means that with the prestigious Filly of the Year trophy in safe keeping, a start in the $2.2m Telecom New Zealand Derby on March 5 is now quite feasible as an option to the original plan of the New Zealand Oaks later that month followed by the AJC Oaks in Sydney.
The decision will hinge mainly on the preference of the filly’s owner-breeder, Hong Kong surgeon Dr Gene Tsoi, who has extensive bloodstock interests in New Zealand and Australia.
‘‘I haven’t spoken with him yet and as the owner he has the final say but at this stage I’m still keen to head to the Lowland Stakes on Derby day and then the Oaks,’’ Bridgman said. ‘‘That’s the smooth pathway to the Oaks in Sydney and I think that for her to end the season as the winner of two Oaks races she’d be a special filly.’’
Bridgman has grabbed with both hands the opportunity to head Te Akau Racing’s New Zealand operation following Mark Walker’s relocation to Singapore. With 31 wins, including six at black-type level, he’s well satisfied with not just the job King’s Rose is doing but also his overall results through the first half of the season.
‘‘They were big shoes to fill but things have gone very well,’’ he said. As well as quality horses such as King’s Rose, Bridgman has plenty to look forward to among the selection of yearlings that Te Akau principal David Ellis purchased at the Karaka sales.
Top of that list is the sale-topping halfbrother to none other than King’s Rose. He was knocked down for $850,000. The son of internationally proven stallion Red Ransom was offered by Dr Tsoi through the Cambridge Stud draft.
Victorious: Darci Brahma International Stakes winner Red Ruler with jockey Mark Du Plessis at Te Rapa.