Matamata Double - Ascend The Throne Rules

Date: 10 Jan 2024

Matamata Double - Ascend The Throne Rules

Looking every bit a Derby prospect, Ascend The Throne (3 g Savabeel – Thee Achiever, by O’Reilly) won the $25,000 Maiden 2000 metres on 10 January at Matamata.

Striding home nicely for fourth when trialling on 22 November at Taupo, Ascend The Throne was doing his best work late, from last, in the Maiden 1300 metres when debuting on 2 December, and steadied from a wide gate (12) he wound up strongly for fifth in the Maiden 1600 metres on 23 December, both at Te Rapa.

Having his third start, stepping to 2000 metres appeared perfect with a view to fulfilling a nomination for the $1 million Trackside NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) on Saturday 2 March at Ellerslie, and the prospect of contesting the $160,000 Waikato Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m) in the interim on Wednesday 31 January at Te Rapa. 

Given a lovely trip in midfield by Opie Bosson, Ascend The Throne was urged to improve inside the 600m and lengthened stylishly to reel in leader Holy Orange (Sacred Falls) over the concluding stages.

“He cut a pretty picture as he started to go through his gears in the centre of the track, a strong staying performance,” said commentator Bruce Sherwin.

“It won’t be his last (win) and I really liked the way he savaged the line late. He ticked all the boxes the way he quickened up in the straight and put the race to bed.”

In the race sponsored by Karaka 2024 (28 Jan. – 2 Feb), Ascend The Throne ran 2000 metres in 2:07.1, last 600m in 35, on footing soon upgraded to Good4, and justified hot favouritism ($1.60.).

“It was a really nice staying performance at his first time over ground and he’ll prepare now for the Waikato Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m),” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“He’s taken a little time to mature, but there’s further improvement to come and he’s going to make into a really nice staying horse as a four and five-year-old, but we still think he’s a realistic chance of making the New Zealand Derby this year.”

Owned by Te Akau 2022 Stallion Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Ascend The Throne was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $575,000 at the 2022 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Milan Park.

He is by unrivalled modern day Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), a Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) winning three-year-old that has proved a sire sensation throughout Australasia, with whose progeny Te Akau Racing has enjoyed so much success. 

Ellis reinforced his view of the stallion purchasing two cracking Savabeel fillies at the Gold Coast Magic Million's' sale this week.

At the time of purchase, he said: “He’s from the best family in the stud book. It’s a great South Island family of the Dennis brothers (Tony, Joe, Martin and Ray Dennis) and they have always bred their mares to the best available stallions.

“We rated him one of the best Savabeel colts in the sale. We loved him. Out of an O’Reilly mare, which is a good cross, from mares by Centaine and Grosvenor and the family our 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner The Perfect Pink.

“It’s a great family from the past and a great current family with so many of the progeny performing well at stakes' levels.”

The first foal of a three time winning O’Reilly mare, his grand-dam, The Grin (Grosvenor), won four races and became the dam of 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner The Jewel, her 11 wins netting $620,003.

Ellis also bought a half-brother, High Achiever (Pins), trained by Te Akau to win three of seven starts and he too displayed attributes consistent with the quality family. 

Ascend The Throne carries a bloodline cross of legendary sire Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor), on sire line of Savabeel and dam line of Thee Achiever. 

Asecend The Throne was strapped by Manjoy Kumar. 

Photo credit -


Sign up to our newsletter