5 Win Saturday - Hawkes Bay Cup to Fierce Flight

Date: 16 Apr 2023

5 Win Saturday - Hawkes Bay Cup to Fierce Flight

Continuing a terrific stakes' wins season for trainer Mark Walker, Fierce Flight (4 g Flying Artie - First Bloom, by Dylan Thomas) won the $100,000 Power Farming Hawkes Bay Cup (Listed, 2200m) on Saturday at Hastings.

After grey mare Aromatic (Sacred Falls) kept a good thing going with victory in the Manawatu Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 2000m) a day beforehand at Awapuni, Fierce Flight, who won his Maiden over 1600 metres at Hastings, recorded his fourth success this season and provided Walker his 34th stakes win among a record-breaking tally of 168.

Fierce Flight was unlucky finishing second to subsequent Auckland Cup (Gr. 2, 3200m) placed Ladies Man (Zed) in the Nathans Memorial (2200 metres) on 4 March at Te Rapa, and most recently produced a top run for second in the New Zealand St Leger (Listed, 2600m) on 18 March at Trentham.

Ridden by Champion Jockey Michael McNab, who appears on target to retain his title, Fierce Flight came out of midfield, hindered his chances by laying in for a few strides in the straight, but straightened and rallied to prevail in a three-way finish.

“He's gone from a rating 60 right through to winning the prestigious Hawkes Bay Cup this season, so a really good effort from the horse and a lovely ride by Michael McNab,” Walker said.

“He's been a progressive horse that we managed to work out earlier in the season when we took the blinkers off him, and he's just continued to improve. 

“It was a satisfying end to a really good campaign and he deserves a break.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $45,000 at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, from the draft of Kilgravin Lodge, Fierce Flight is owned by Te Akau Out of Bounds Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn-Fenton Ellis MNZM).

“I'm really pleased with the way this horse has continued to develop,” Ellis said. “He's shown great heart in his racing and proving a really good horse for his owners.

“Winning five races on a Saturday is always a massive thrill and especially adding the Hawkes Bay Cup which has been won by some very good horses over the years.

“We've had a great season with horses of all ages and over all distances. Obviously winning our seventh Karaka Million 2YO in a row is a real highlight, but Mark (Walker) won the Wellington Cup with Leaderboard, Brando won the Awapuni Gold Cup, Aromatic won the Counties' Cup and Manawatu Breeders' Stakes, Family Ties won the Oaks' Prelude, Campionessa claimed the Metropolitan Handicap, and Group One mile winners Prise De Fer and Romancing The Moon, so it's a very well-rounded performance and brilliant to be winning these races.

“We're coming to the end of selling the yearlings, which has been a huge success for Te Akau and New Zealand racing to keep the racing numbers up.

“We've still got a couple of shares in some really nice horses, including the three-quarter sister to What You Wish For, who was pretty impressive winning the two-year-old race today at Hastings, and an All Too Hard filly like Viva Vienna who won the two-year-old race today at Te Rapa.”

Fierce Flight was strapped by Katija Cherie.



Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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