Aromatic Win = Awapuni Double

Date: 31 Oct 2020

Aromatic Win = Awapuni Double

Another cracking ride by Danielle Johnson enabled Aromatic (4 m Sacred Falls - Vickezzchardonnay, by Don Eduardo) to step up with aplomb in the $27,500 Rating 74 1600 metres on Saturday at Awapuni.

A clear leader in the Jockey Premiership and riding in career best form, Johnson followed a hat-trick on Thursday at Ashburton, winning the last with another pinpoint accurate ride on the grey mare.

Having resumed with a tenacious victory in the Rating 65 1400 metres on 10 October at Matamata, Aromatic extended her record to three wins and two seconds from five starts for the Te Akau Sacred Wine Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

Utilizing a handy draw (4) to camp on the leaders, Johnson had Aromatic going forward with purpose around the home turn and stealing a two-length advantage mid straight paid dividends on the line as she held closers at bay.

In the race sponsored by Ian Humphrey Motors & Humphrey Family, Aromatic ran the 1600 metres in 1:37.6 and she shortened from fixed odds: $8.00 & $2.80 to pay $5.60 & $2.10 on the NZ TAB tote.

Aromatic followed two seconds when cantering home to score by more than six lengths over 1400 metres in March at Rotorua, a win that provided trainer Jamie Richards with the 200thwinner in his second season of training solo, among a total of 500 which came up a week ago when Need I Say More (No Nay Never) won the Sarten Memorial (Gr. 2, 1400m) at Te Rapa. 

“It's been a good effort taking the step from Maiden to 65 and up to 74 in just three starts,” Richards said. “It's not easy to do and I was really pleased with the way Danielle (Johnson) rode her to take a position just behind the speed. She cruised into at the right time, got to the front a bit soon but fought hard the last bit and won well. 

“She's doing a great job from the Uni Barn, and a favourite of foreman Shay Dickinson. 

“We'll probably look to run her over a mile again in three or four weeks and we expect she'll keep progressing into a nice staying mare. Obviously, the goal is getting through to stakes' races and earning some black type.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $160,000 at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Milan Park, her dam, Vickezzchardonnay, by the highest priced yearling ($3.6m, Don Eduardo (Zabeel)) to sell at Karaka, was an impressive five-time winner from 1600m to 2100m. Aromatic is the fifth foal and third individual winner from the mare. 

Fifth in the 2008 New Zealand Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) and second in the Warstep Stakes (Listed, 2000m) during her three-year-old season, Vickezzchardonnay went on to win the Taranaki Cup (Gr. 3, 2000m), finish third in the NZ Cup (Gr. 2, 3200m), and fourth in the Auckland Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m), Wellington Cup (Gr. 2, 2400m), Travis Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), and Rotorua Cup (Gr. 3, 2200m), showing what a genuine mare she was.

Vickezzchardonnay is a half-sister to impressive winning race mare Fifty Fifty (Justice Prevails), who has left seven winners of 15 races including stakes performer Balham (Don Eduardo). 

“Both she and the jockey are going really well,” Ellis said. “She won her Maiden by a big margin and to come back in and win both starts shows what a promising mare she is. With her pedigree it would very interesting to see how she goes getting up in trip.

“Vickezzchardonnay stayed well and Sacred Falls was a brilliant miler, and on type this mare looks like she'll step up. It's certainly not easy going from Rating 65 grade to win a Rating 74, but Jamie (Richards) has again picked the perfect race to give her the chance and she's won it. 

“We bought both Aromatic and High Achiever, who has won two from four, from Tony Rider at the Karaka sales and it's great to win another race with a horse that he's bred. We bought them late in the day, quite close together, and they may have got under the guard of a few but they're both very nice horses. 

“Tony is a really good breeder, we've had terrific success with horses he's bred, and those he has in our stable - including the talented Miss Aotearoa. Aromatic has needed a bit of time to mature, bred to keep improving, but I think she's pretty exciting and could have the makings of a black type stakes' performer.”

Aromatic was strapped by Kate Belsham.

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