Ti­vaci seals spot at Waikato Stud

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - DEN­NIS RYAN

The com­bined forces of three Mata­mata en­ti­ties stood to­gether on the Rand­wick vic­tory podium last Satur­day when Ti­vaci won the A$600,000 All-Aged Stakes.

Trainer Mike Moroney and his bloodstock agent brother Paul, Waikato Stud prin­ci­pal Mark Chittick and Bland­ford Lodge part-owner Lib Pe­tagna had plenty to gain from Ti­vaci’s break­through Group One win when he stormed down the out­side with a ca­reer-defin­ing per­for­mance.

For the Moroney broth­ers the Syd­ney au­tumn car­ni­val suc­cess was yet another ma­jor win that un­der­lined their re­spec­tive sales se­lec­tion and train­ing skills, just as it was another big re­sult for prin­ci­pal owner, Welling­ton busi­ness­man Lib Pe­tagna, who last year joined Mata­mata cou­ple Gra­ham and He­len-Gaye Bax as a coowner of one of the district’s most his­toric thor­ough­bred prop­er­ties.

And for Waikato Stud, Ti­vaci’s win at the high­est level was a dream re­sult just weeks after the hand­some four-year-old had been iden­ti­fied as the next re­cruit for the stal­lion roster at New Zealand’s lead­ing nurs­ery.

In early March it was an­nounced that Waikato had bought into Ti­vaci’s own­er­ship, which un­til then had com­prised Lib Pe­tagna along with Mike Moroney’s Bal­ly­more Sta­bles and a num­ber of Aus­tralian clients.

Paul Moroney’s keen eye had spot­ted the son of for­mer New Zealand stal­lion High Cha­parral at the 2014 Syd­ney Easter Year­ling Sales, where he was of­fered in the Princes Farm draft of his breeder, leg­endary trainer Bart Cum­mings. Paul wasn’t the only scout im­pressed by the strap­ping bay colt, and un­be­known to each other he and fel­low New Zealand agent Bruce Perry, man­ager of the Pe­tagna JML Bloodstock port- fo­lio, en­gaged in a bid­ding duel.

‘‘I had Lib on the phone back in Welling­ton and it was our bid at $240,000,’’ Bruce re­called this week. ‘‘Then I spot­ted Paul come in with the next bid at $250,000, so I said to Lib we may as well pull the pin and find another way to get into the horse.’’

The up­shot was that JML Bloodstock be­came a 40 per cent share­holder in the horse that be­came known as Ti­vaci, whose rac­ing ca­reer be­gan from Bal­ly­more’s Flem­ing­ton sta­ble with a win in provin­cial Vic­to­ria in the spring of 2015. By the mid­sum­mer of his three-year-old sea­son Ti­vaci was the win­ner of the Gr. 3 C S Hayes Stakes at Flem­ing­ton and he added the Sun­shine Coast Guineas at Caloun­dra dur­ing the Queens­land win­ter car­ni­val.

Back in Mel­bourne for the spring car­ni­val, his value in­creased with plac­ings in the Gr. 1 Toorak Hand­i­cap and Can­tala Stakes, and he re­turned from a break to win the Kens­ing­ton Stakes over 1000 me­tres down the Flem­ing­ton straight.

That set up a start in Flem­ing­ton’s premier sprint, the Gr. 1 New­mar­ket Hand­i­cap, but Ti­vaci was a luck­less fifth. So to Syd­ney for the Gr. 1 TJ Smith Stakes when the heavy ground made his fourth plac­ing a mer­i­to­ri­ous ef­fort, lead­ing to the next throw of the dice in the All-Aged Stakes.

Now that Ti­vaci has bro­ken through the Group One ceil­ing, a de­ci­sion has to be made whether to re­tire the ris­ing five-year-old now or take him north for the Queens­land win­ter car­ni­val.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Ti­vaci seals his fu­ture at Waikato Stud with vic­tory in the All-Aged Stakes at Rand­wick on Satur­day.

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