Certainly A Winner

Date: 23 Dec 2023

Certainly A Winner


Bringing very good form, Certainly (3 f Savabeel – Frankly, by Pins) scored impressively in the $25,000 Matamata Veterinary Services Maiden 3YO 1400 metres on 22 December at Matamata.


Winning three of four trials, Certainly closed strongly for second on debut in the Maiden 1200 metres on 29 November at Te Aroha, with winner Pendragon (U S Navy Flag) subsequently beating Gold Trail Stakes' (Gr. 3, 1200m) winner Quintessa (Shamus Award) and Champion Two-Year-Old Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin) in the 3YO 1200 metres on Waikato Cup Day (16 Dec.) at Te Rapa.

Bred and owned by Waikato Stud, Certainly is from the family of its Champion Stallion O’Reilly (Last Tycoon), out of Courtza (Pompeii Court) who is the grand-dam of Certainly.

Ridden by Craig Grylls, Certainly winged a wide gate (10) to situate outside stable-mate She Turns Heads (Headwater) on the pace, appeared to travel best turn for home, quickened to lead at the 200 metres and displayed class when racing clear.

Scoring by two and three-quarter lengths, Certainly ran 1400 metres in 1:24.1, last 600m in 34.6, on footing upgraded to Good4, and justified favouritism to pay $2.20 & $1.30 on the NZ TAB tote, while She Turns Heads continued her strong form by finishing third. 

“She came back to me beautifully after beginning quickly, and let down really well once she changed gears in the straight,” Grylls said. “She’s a pretty good filly.”

Certainly will now prepare for the $500,000 Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) on Saturday 13 January at Trentham, a race in which Te Akau quinelled last year with Romancing The Moon (El Roca) and Skew Wiff (Savabeel). The latter, also bred and owned by Waikato Stud, has since won the Tarzino Trophy (Gr. 1, 1400m) and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington. 

“She’s a lovely filly,” said co-trainer Mark Walker. “It was a smart ride of Gryllsy’s, taking bad luck out of the equation by being positive and she’s a filly with a bright future. 

“It's good to get the first win out of the way. We expect she’ll appreciate even more ground and all going well will get her chance in a stakes' race during the Wellington Carnival.”

By Waikato Stud eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), Certainly provided dam Frankly (Pins), the winner of four races to 1600 metres, with her fourth individual winner. 

Speaking on behalf of Waikato Stud, Garry Chittick said: “Thank you to the race sponsor, Matamata Vets, the Matamata Racing Club, Te Akau, and Craig (Grylls).

“It’s nice to see a good crowd on course for this Christmas race day and people enjoying the racing.

“It’s proved a fairly hard family for us to get fillies out of, especially a family like this that we’ve wanted to develop.  We hang on to every filly like this that we can, when there’s not an abundance of them. 

“She looked good at the trials, ran well on debut at Te Aroha, and Opie (Bosson) was bullish on her chances after he rode in track work on Tuesday. 

“It was a very strong win today, so hopefully she can carry on and a bit of black print would be nice. It looks like she’s got the ability to if nothing goes wrong. 

“We’ve got some good horses going around in New Zealand and Australia, and a nice autumn to look forward to. 

“We have plenty in work and we spend a lot of money on them, but it’s the development of the breed and that’s what we’re doing it for. 

“We like it too, we love the racing game, but it’s hard to make it all work. We’ve been fortunate in the last couple of years with I Wish I Win (Savabeel).”


Certainly was strapped by Rasheed Alam.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz

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