Get Those Bubbles Popping!

Date: 23 Jul 2023

Get Those Bubbles Popping!


Vying for smartest winners on the programme, Popthebubbles (3 f Wrote - Vickezzlepin, by Pins) produced an undeniable finish in the $30,000 Ultimate Mazda Rating 65 1600 metres on Saturday at Tauranga.


After racing clear to win by over six lengths in the Maiden 1600 metres on 23 June at Wanganui, Popthebubbles did well for fifth in a much stronger field for the 3YO 1400 metres on 8 July at Awapuni, and the race picked out by trainer Mark Walker on Saturday looked perfect.

Ridden a calculated race by experienced jockey Vinnie Colgan, aware that barrier one was not ideal when the outside running offered better going, Popthebubbles was extricated from third last at the 800m and came with a rush over the concluding stages to win easily by two lengths.

“I struggled a bit with her across the top, but once she straightened and got on her outside leg she was away and let down really well over the last 200 metres,” Colgan said.

On footing the raced in keeping with its Heavy9 rating, Popthebubbles ran 1600 metres in 1:44.6, last 600m in 39, and paid $8.10 & $2.60 on the NZ TAB tote. 

In the Milan Park colours of Tony Rider, who shares in the breeding and ownership with Rayner & Lynn Bonnington (Little River Thoroughbreds) and Peter Jeffares, Popthebubbles has won two of her last three starts and shapes as a filly with plenty more to offer.

“It was another really good winning effort from a filly that should only get better with time and once we get up over more ground,” Walker said.

“Given the family she's from, I think she can develop into a handy staying mare, especially on tracks with some give in them. 

“She should be able to progress through the grades next season as a four-year-old and it will be very interesting once we step her up in trip as to just what level she could be capable of.”

Popthebubbles is from the family of stable-mate Aromatic (Sacred Falls), who recently completed a fabulous six-year-old season. Notably, she provided Walker with his 100th stakes win in the Counties Cup (Gr. 3, 2100m), which began a fabulous stretch of form by the gorgeous grey mare: to brilliantly win the Manawatu Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 2000m) and emulate that performance in the Travis Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), while in addition to three stakes' wins she included seconds in the Metric Mile (Gr. 3, 1550m), Staphanos Classic (Listed, 1950m), Cuddle Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m), and was third in the Waikato Cup (Gr. 3, 2400m).

Aromatic and Vickezzlepin, the dam of Popthebubbles, are half-sisters, both out of Vickezzchardonnay.

By the highest priced yearling to ever sell at Karaka, Don Eduardo (Zabeel) who sold for $3.6 million, Vickezzchardonnay was an impressive five-time winner from 1600m to 2100m. 

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), while epitomizing her genuine attributes. 

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). 

Walker has done a great job with Aromatic, a talented filly that broke through effortlessly at her third start as a three-year-old and continued to build a tremendous record, while his experience and knowledge of the family is also to the fore with Popthebubbles.  

It was win number 197 for Te Akau Racing this season, with over $8 million in prize money, while in a bid to become the first trainer in NZ racing history to notch a double century, Walker has opportunities next week at Cambridge, Awapuni, Te Rapa, and Otaki, to extend his record before season end.

Popthebubbles was strapped by Ashley Handley.


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