Spellbinding Ellerslie performance
Guineas King’s Rose, and Wolfwhistle, a son of O’Reilly and former class race mare Legs who won at Taupo at his last start.
King’s Rock, a $1.75 million Karaka yearling purchase by Te Akau principal David Ellis, ran in the other three-year-old stakes race at Ellerslie on the weekend, the Bonecrusher Stakes. Although he was unable to repeat his previous start debut win, there was still plenty of merit in his fifth placing after luck in the running didn’t go his way.
That race was won by the Cambridge-trained Thorn Park colt Sacred Park, completing a notable double for Mapperley Stud. Both he and Spellbinder were in Mapperley’s draft to the 2012 National Yearling Sale, the first major consignment from the Peria Hills farm since Simms Davison took over management.
Spellbinder wasn’t the only Matamatatrained horse to extend its unbeaten record at Ellerslie last Saturday. The Paul and Kris Shailer-trained Forefront took his perfect tally to three with a smart win over 1200 metres in his first start since May.
Like Spellbinder, he’s also by O’Reilly and in fact was the first of three winners on the Ellerslie card by Waikato Stud’s champion stallion. Forefront won on debut at Te Aroha last February and wasn’t seen again until May, where he repeated at Trentham. His reappearance had been delayed by wet tracks and he can only become more of a force as spring footing continues to improve.
‘‘He’s still a bit soft out and we’ll take him one run at a time,’’ said Paul Shailer after his partner Kelly Myers had brought Forefront home with a patient ride. ‘‘His owner has been very patient and there’s no panic. He’s out of a Zabeel mare and will only get better with time.’’
The four-year-old gelding is raced by his breeder, Auckland Queen’s Counsel Alan Galbraith, whose interest in Rich Hill Stud makes him a regular to Matamata.
Eat my dust: Spellbinder’s runaway Soliloquy Stakes win at Ellerslie on Saturday is illustrated by the infield screen.