Challa You Wee Champ

Date: 16 Sep 2022

Challa You Wee Champ


Franking his history, Challa (6 g Dissident - Are There Any, by Exceed and Excel) resumed with a victory in the $14,000 Rating 75 1100 metres on 16 September at Taupo.

Stakes' placed when runner-up in his first three starts as a two-year-old, Challa is resilient, has been patiently handled, and is still rewarding his owners in the Te Akau Challa Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

Challa commenced both his three and four-year-old season by winning, and while unable to win when rising in grade last season he still placed three times.

Although without a trial, trainer Mark Walker had him just right for a hearty fresh-up performance and it was nothing if not tough.

Carrying the top weight (59kg) in a strong field never helped matters, but after being ridden positively by Joe Kamaruddin to lead, Challa was set upon in the straight by stable newcomer Aris Aris (Contributer), with Lisa Allpress aboard, and locked in battle he remained unflinching to score narrowly -  stable quinella.

Kamaruddin has now teamed with Challa in three of his four wins, and the Te Akau Champion Apprentice, adding to midweek victories aboard stable-mates Belle of the Ball (Burgundy) and Illicit Miss (Hinchinbrook) at Riccarton, is currently third on the Jockey leader board with 13 wins this season.

In the race sponsored by DPA Chartered Accountants, Challa ran 1100 metres in 1:06.3, last 600m in 35.5, on Soft6 footing, and after winning stable-mate Stella Splendida (Zoustar) paid prohibitively ($1.30) earlier on the card, Challa returned believers $23.70 & $4.90 on the TAB tote.

“I was really happy with his winning run today and he really deserved that,” Walker said.

“He had a few niggling problems and issues with his feet last season, but our farrier Gareth Allis has got his feet in great shape now and hopefully he can go with it.

“He's always been a nice horse, with a high cruising speed, and it was good ride by Joe (Kamaruddin).

Purchased by David Ellis CNMZ for $100,000, from the draft of Trelawney Stud, at the NZB 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, Challa was the first foal from Are There Any, a mare that won six races from 1300m to 2050m in Melbourne, while his grand-dam, Honest Politician (Distorted Humor), was also a very tough racehorse that won eight times (1600m - 2000m) in Australia.

“He's always been a beautifully balanced horse and his dam sire Exceed and Excel has been a fantastic speed influence in Australia,” Ellis said.

“He provided Joe (Kamaruddin) with his second success back in 2020 and it's great to see them continuing to win.”

Challa was from the first crop of Australian Horse of the Year and Champion Sprinter, five-time Group One winner, Dissident (Sebring). Trained by Peter Moody, Dissident was known for his exceptionally tough qualities when winning from 1000 metres to 1600 metres. The mating also has a lovely cross of once the greatest sire of stakes winners in the world, Danehill (Danzig).

Challa was strapped by Zoe Ashworth.

Photo credit -


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