Awapuni Winning Quartet - Star Shines in Stable Quinella

Date: 28 Jul 2023

Awapuni Winning Quartet - Star Shines in Stable Quinella


Making it four wins on the six race programme, Star In The Sky (3 f Savabeel - Pikari Star, by Choisir) became win no. 202 this season in the $14,000 Humphries Construction Maiden 1700 metres on 27 July at at Awapuni (poly-track). 


Utilizing barrier one to take up a trailing position, three back inner, Star In The Sky travelled ominously behind the leaders turning for home and once clear she quickened away under rider Michael McNab to score by two and a quarter lengths.

It was an encouraging victory by a filly that had been building nicely in recent starts, especially given the manner in which she quickened, while stable-mate Primo Vino (Savabeel) also did a good job when getting through near the rail for second. 

“It was really good to get that win with her today and she did it pretty well, too,” said trainer Mark Walker. 

“I think the visor blinkers sharpened her up and she can definitely win more races next season. She needs a decent spell, so that's where she's headed. 

“These Savabeel horses can improve a lot with maturity, as four and five-year-olds, and both of these horses can continue to improve next season.”

Owned by Te Akau Star Strike Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Star In The Sky was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM for $145,000, from the draft of Yulong Investments, at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. 

“We never imagined getting four winners on the six-race programme and getting through the 200-win barrier, but hats off to the team for an outstanding effort and to quinella the last with two horses by Savabeel is fantastic in itself,” Ellis said.

“It's a red-letter day on many fronts, one that all our team and owners can be proud of, and it's the culmination of so much hard work by so many people. It's very humbling and is a huge thrill.”

By eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), a stallion whose progeny topped $150 million in earnings, with over 2700 winners, 250 stakes' winners, including 50 Group One winners. He is the ultimate champion sire, that has eclipsed his grand-sire Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor) for stakes winners, and whose progeny carry his trademark stamp of quality. Te Akau has puchased/trained more Group/Listed winners by this Champion Sire than any other stable.

Star In The Sky is from a Waikato Stud family that helped put them at the top, and also a family that has been very familiar to Te Akau in recent times through the deeds of Group One winner Savy Yong Blonk (Savabeel). 

Her grand-dam, impressive winning race mare Ambitious (Last Tycoon), finished second in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and left seven individual winners of 22 races, and she herself is out of Starcent (Centaine), Joint Third Top Filly in the NZ 3YO Free Handicaps and the third dam of Star In The Sky. It is a deep family of quality horses.

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “It's a family we know well through Savy Yong Blonk, a staying mare coming of age now, and it's a family of precocity with two-year-old and early performers too.

“We thought she was very good buying at the price, given the service fee, and the mare also has a Written Tycoon (Iglesia) colt to come, and in foal to Grunt (O'Reilly) so there is a lot happening in the pedigree.”

Dam sire Choisir (Danehill Dancer) brings an interesting component to Star In The Sky. Australian Champion Two-Year-Old and a history making racehorse, Choisir (Danehill Dance) won the Lightning Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000m) at Flemington, and beat the best sprinters in the world when winning the King's Stand Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m) and Golden Jubilee Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Royal Ascot in the U.K., before becoming highly successful at stud.

Choisir is a sire of sires, including New Zealand Champion Sire this season Proisir, while garnering a reputation as an outstanding broodmare sire.

Star In The Sky was strapped by Kendyll Lee. 


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