First Meeting, First Winner - Stonybreck Shines

Date: 4 Aug 2022

First Meeting, First Winner - Stonybreck Shines


Stonybreck (3 g Tavistock - Fair Isle, by Fastnet Rock) made the best possible start to his racing career when winning at the first meeting of the new season on 3 August at Cambridge.

One of three two-year-old winners for trainer Mark Walker at the Cambridge trials on 19 July, including stable-mate and race rival Bubbles Await (Almanzor) who came from clear last to finish fifth, Stonybreck was ideally drawn in barrier two, had weight relief to 53kg, and took out the $14,000 Carter Contracting Maiden 970 metres.

Although tardiest to begin, Stonybreck recovered quickly near the rail to be trailing third at the 600m and with a clear passage from there on for Te Akau apprentice Niranjan Parmar, he wore down race favourite One Power (Power) to score by a short neck.

On the poly-track, Stonybreck clocked 54.9, the faster of two races on the card over 970 metres, and shortened from an earlier fixed odds quote of $11.00 & $3.50 to pay $8.80 & $3.10 on the TAB tote.

Adding to the enormity of the effort, Stonybreck set a new track record which is a rare feat for a debutante.

“It was a really good win,” Walker said. “He was slightly slow away but it may have been a blessing in disguise as they went awfully hard up front and Parmar didn't panic. He got a nice run up in behind them, through at the right time, and I thought there was a lot of merit in the win.

“I think he'll get better too when he gets onto the grass, but the good thing about the synthetic surface is that it doesn't seem to take a huge amount out of them.”

Walker added that, depending on his progress, Stonybreck could be seen again on Wednesday 24 August at Taupo, where a favourable outcome may lead to the $65,000 Wanganui Guineas (Listed, 1340m) on Saturday 3 September at Wanganui.

A steady improver through the trials stage, Stonybreck was purchased for $20,000 by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM, from the draft of Pencarrow Stud, at the 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, and owned by Te Akau Northern Scotland Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

“What an exciting way to start the season and I'm absolutely ecstatic,” said Ellis, reaching the final throes of a family holiday.  We're going out to dinner with some really good friends to celebrate, shortly.

“Stonybreck was a bargain from a really good Pencarrow Stud family of Sir Peter Vela, and is beautifully bred.  We've liked him for a long time and, despite being quite long in betting, it was no real surprise to see him win today.

“We were actually so taken with him that I went back this year and bought his half-sister by the Triple Crown winner Justify.  We had a good look at her and really liked what we saw. She cost a bit more, $190,000, but she's from a family with deep black type pedigree and quality. She's named Star of Justice and has just turned two.”

Having just collected their 13thtraining premiership title with a combined total of 141 domestic wins during the 2021/22 racing season, Ellis was happy for both owners and the Te Akau team in celebrating an early season victory.

“It's been an incredibly wet winter and all our team has been working so hard and doing it tough,” he said. “They're doing an outstanding job and it's a massive thrill to kick off with a win.

“We've got a great team of people, so passionate and dedicated, enjoying their work, and Karyn and I are very proud of them.

“Parmar, our apprentice, he won't be a three-kilo claimer for long because he's just riding so well. He's shaping up to be a really good jockey. He works hard in the stable, is very professional in his riding and wants to be successful. That's a good recipe for future success.”

By Tavistock (Montjeu), a noted sire of (four) international Derby winners that added terrific quality to the New Zealand stallion ranks, Stonybreck is from a mare by Champion Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill) who won over 1600 metres in Australia.

Stonybreck has a mouth-watering dam line: grand-dam Miss Scarlatti (Stravinsky) won a listed race and also strung together second place finishes in the Norman Robinson (Gr. 3, 2000m), Wakefield Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), and VRC Oaks (Gr. 1, 2500m) in the space of three starts as a three-year-old.

Her half-sister, Abidewithme (Redoute's Choice), was trained by Te Akau to record nine wins, including the Travis Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), Tauranga Stakes (Gr. 2, 1600m), and was three times Group 1 placed.

His third dam Crimson (Zabeel), an impressive winner and Third Top Filly on the NZ 3YO Free Handicaps, was trained by Jim Gibbs before transferring to Bart Cummings during the latter stages of her career.

Also a winner fresh-up as a three-year-old, Crimson went on to produce outstanding form through the spring, winning the Waikato Guineas (Gr. 3, 1600m) and finishing second in the Avondale Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m), before victory in the Grosvenor Championship Stakes (Gr. 2, 2100m) at Ellerslie.

Crimson left winners of fourteen races, while her dam, Bourbon Lassie (Mellay) also produced the stallion Omnicorp (Grosvenor).

In 2021 at Karaka, from Cambridge Stud, Ellis also purchased a yearling by Almanzor out of Abidewithme, now a three-year-old gelding named Kriminal.

Stonybreck was strapped by Mallesh Saddari.


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