Avantage Crowned Champion 2YO
27 Aug 2018
It was with huge pride last night at the NZTR Horse of the Year Awards that we celebrated Avantage crowned 2017/18 Champion 2YO.
The filly we call “Viva” attracted 60 of the possible 61 votes – almost a clean-sweep and by far the most clear cut category. The one other vote went the way of her stablemate and fellow finalist, Sword of Osman.
Advantage also earned the second highest number of votes in the Horse of the Year contest.
A hugely talented daughter of superstar sire Fastnet Rock out of the Zabeel mare Asavant, Avantage was purchased by David Ellis from the 2017 Karaka Premier Sale for $210,000.
She is raced by a group of stalwart Te Akau owners and it was fabulous to have many of them on hand to enjoy the special moment, as well as her breeders, Karen and Willie Calder.
As a juvenile, she raced six times for five wins and one second – her highlights of course being victory in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes and Karaka 2YO Million. Her second placing, and only defeat of the season, came in the Group 1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie where she posted a superb time, rattling home for second to Sword of Osman from a rear position, after drawing wide. Sword of Osman, another David Ellis purchase, was also a finalist in the category.
Avantage earned stakes of $762,370 for her owners last season. Earlier in the season they had turned down a lucrative, large six-figure sum for her. Needless to say, there was agreement from the owners present last night that they were delighted they had said: “no sale”!
Avantage became Te Akau’s sixth Champion 2YO in the past 13 years – with all purchased by David Ellis. She joins the honour roll of: Maroofity, Darci Brahma, Warhorse, War Affair and last year’s winner and recent Group 2 Foxbridge Place victor Melody Belle.