Sword of Osman Group 1 Glory
10 Mar 2018
The second winner for Te Akau on Saturday came at Ellerslie, on Auckland Cup Day – another Group 1 victory for the team with a horse selected and purchased by David Ellis at Karaka …
Te Akau principal David Ellis reckons that on a sinking ship Opie Bosson would pop up next to a lifeboat, after his number one rider won aboard Sword of Osman (2 g Savabeel – Bunyah, by Distant View) in the $200,000 Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) on Auckland Cup Day, 10 March, at Ellerslie.
Sword of Osman defeated Karaka Million (Listed, 1200m) winning stable-mate Avantage (Fastnet Rock), with The Real Beel (Savabeel) finishing fifth, in another Te Akau big race domination.
“What a tin arse Opie is,” Ellis said. “He chose Avantage, then couldn’t make the weight and he’s finished up winning the race on Sword of Osman.
“Matt (Cameron) rode Avantage a treat and it was a huge effort to come from last and finish second. I think, personally, hers was the run of the race, she was absolutely fantastic, and what a three-year-old filly she’s going to make. But take nothing away from Sword of Osman, he was simply too good on the day.
“The stable is flying. We’ve had a quinella in the 2000 Guineas with Embellish and Age of Fire, the Karaka Million with Avantage and Al Hasa, and again today. It continues a phenomenal run for Steve (Autridge) and Jamie (Richards), when you think in the last twelve months they’ve had Melody Belle win the Karaka Million and Sires’ Produce Stakes, Age of Fire win the Levin Classic, and of course Gingernuts won the New Zealand Derby, Rosehill Guineas and the Windsor Park Plate, amongst other big wins.”
Able to muster from barrier one in order to lead, Bosson had Sword of Osman under a hold and travelling, quickened to a two length advantage inside the 300m and very smart in his manner of victory.
One and a quarter lengths clear of Avantage at the line, Sword of Osman clocked a swift 1:09.7, last 600m in 33.4, and his best return was $3.90 & $1.60 on the NZ TAB tote.
Owned by the Te Akau Great Sword Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Sword of Osman was purchased by Ellis for $165,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, prepared by Trelawney Stud for breeder Joan Egan, and now won three of his four starts.
“We came into this race with three very good two-year-olds, but, boy, that was something else,” Fenton-Ellis said.
“Opie Bosson, who is a seriously good judge, labelled this horse some time ago, and of course David (Ellis) bought all three of these horses at Karaka, so it’s a massive thrill for everyone involved.
“Steve and Jamie have done a very good job with this horse. He’s been here (Ellerslie) for a track gallop, very well prepared, lightly raced, and what he’s done to date is on sheer raw ability.
“We all think he will be a much better three-year-old, so it’s just blown our minds. Spare a thought, too, for Avantage. How brave was she from the eight draw?”
In accepting the trophy, Fenton-Ellis paid homage to Brendan and Jo Lindsay for their sponsorship involvement through Sistema and now as new custodians of Cambridge Stud.
“You’ve changed the face of the New Zealand racing industry forever. To you and your family, thank you for everything,” she said.
Regarding upcoming assignments for the winner, Ellis said they would give Sword of Osman three or four days before considering group one options of the Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni, and the Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes, both at Randwick.
Opie Bosson said: “Barrier one probably helped me, but today he was a lot more relaxed in the running. When I did get to the front, he switched off, had his ears pricked, got some easy sectionals – I felt they were easy, anyway. He’s such a big, long-strider.
“I’d opted to ride the filly (Avantage) a couple of weeks out, but realised four or five days ago that I was no chance (of making the weight: 54.5kgs).
“(Te Akau) it’s a perfect team, they work well together and David buys some beautiful horses. It makes my job a lot easier when I throw my leg over and they perform on race day.
“He could be a Sires’ Produce horse, but he’s always been my favourite to become a three-year-old, so we’ll just see how he comes through this run.
“I struggle with my weight all the time, so when I get to ride horses like this it makes it a lot easier.”
Te Akau had previously won the Sistema, formerly known as the Ford Diamond Stakes, with Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock) in 2016, Warhorse in 2012, and Maroofity (Maroof) won in 2003.
Sword of Osman was strapped by Nik Bakar.
Photo credit – www.raceimages.co.nz