Group 1 Glory for Sword of State

Date: 14 Mar 2021

Group 1 Glory for Sword of State


First and second throughout, but the colt Sword of State (2 c Snitzel - In the Vanguard, by Encosta De Lago) proved dominant in the $200,000 Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) on Auckland Cup Day (13 March) at Ellerslie.


Having won four of the previous five renditions, Te Akau stable-mates Sword of State and Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) winner On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau) had a mortgage on the race, and finished first and second respectively.

Straight to the lead from barrier two, Sword of State travelled up economically passing the 600m and raced clear over the final furlong to win by three and a half lengths.

The winner of four from five for Te Akau 2020 Four Colt Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Sword of State had emulated his debut winning margin (6 ½ lengths) when quickening clear in machine-like fashion to win the Waikato Stud Slipper (Gr. 3, 1200m) on 27 February at Matamata, and his first Group One victory was recorded in similar fashion.

For national record holder Opie Bosson, it was his fourth consecutive win in the race and his 82ndGroup One.

On Dead4 footing, Sword of State trucked over the 1200 metres in 1:09.5, last 600m in a sizzling 33.0, and governed betting to pay $1.60.

“He's a valuable colt now,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “Dave (Ellis) and Mark (Walker) picked him out on the Gold Coast, paid a fair bit of money and got him syndicated among some great people.

“It's great to see him continue to improve. I think that's the best thing about him. He was bred to be out and going before Christmas, but it wasn't quite fitting together so we gave him a break. He's come back in great shape and really going through his gears nicely now.

“The race worked out as planned, to put them both up on the speed. He obviously likes being in front and it's valuable when a two-year-old can find the rail.

“The team have done a great job, Scott Lucock and Mette Mosebo who look after him at the Colt Barn, where we were under a fair bit of pressure this morning to get the horses worked before we got to Ellerslie, so I can't thank the whole team enough.

“On the Bubbles ran into a very good running two-year-old colt and it's great to have two great horses like them in the stable.

“I'm very proud of Opie (Bosson). He's got his weight under control and he's riding in great form.”

Richards said that he, David Ellis, and connections would now give consideration to Sword of State racing in Australia, which could occur as early as next Saturday (20 March) in the $3.5m Golden Slipper (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Rosehill Gardens, Sydney.

Bred by Sir Owen Glenn and prepared by Newgate Farm, he was purchased for $600,000 by David Ellis CNZM at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020.

The ownership group contains former Sistema owner Brendan Lindsay MNZM and his wife, Jo Lindsay, who now own Cambridge Stud.

Lindsay said: “I signed a three-year contract with the Auckland Racing Club to sponsor two Group One races and I'm thrilled that under their new ownership and management that they have decided to continue it.

David Ellis said: “To have Brendan and Jo involved in the ownership and to win what is essentially ‘their' race is as big a thrill as you can get. So, congratulations to them and all the owners in this high-calibre colt.

“He is really exciting and it's not often I get 20 or 30 texts after a win from people in Australia, and it certainly shows that they're watching and the interest in him.

“This year at the sales, I bought a beautiful Almanzor colt that Drew and Clare (Muirhead), from Sistema, are involved in, along with Brendan & Jo, so the future is very exciting and we would love to be back here next year with him.”

From a very fast family and a standout colt at the sales, Sword of State is the first foal from fast Encosta De Lago mare In the Vanguard, and his sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice) is a multiple Champion Australian Sire.

He carries a Danehill cross through his sire line and on the dam side of In the Vanguard, as the sire of grand-dam sire Danzero.

Sword of State was strapped by Mette Mosebo.


Photo credit -


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