Mighty Effort - The Mighty Spar

Date: 31 Mar 2021

Mighty Effort - The Mighty Spar


From last, The Mighty Spar  (3 g Savabeel - O'Dianne, by O'Reilly) powered home to win the $10,000 Bob Black Shivaree Maiden 1400 metres on 31 March at Matamata.


Another graduate of Waikato Stud, bred on the same cross as debut winning filly Synchronize, who won earlier on the programme, The Mighty Spar ran on for sixth and fifth, respectively, at his first two outings and benefitted from a Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson special.

Apprenticed to Te Akau as a 14yo, the national Group One record holder (83) knows every blade of the Matamata track, having ridden 136 winners, and although standing the leader seven lengths at the 600 metres there was an air of confidence in his piloting.

Tracking widest rounding the home turn, The Mighty Spar soon levelled in front and sustained a big finish to win dominantly.

“He kept coming up underneath me and he's won well,” Bosson said.

On Slow8 footing, The Mighty Spar ran the 1400 metres in 1:26.3, last 600m 35.2, and returned $3.80 & $1.60 on the NZ TAB tote.

“He's a horse we really liked as a yearling,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “He's an outstanding looking horse and we bought him to be a natural two-year-old running horse, but unfortunately he's had immaturity issues in his knees and we had to give him time.

“The owners have been very patient and he's starting to put it together now. I was really happy with the way he raced on debut at Hastings but he was a bit unruly at Pukekohe, where he didn't steer that well. However, back left-handed with Opie (Bosson) on and I thought he raced very well.

“We rode him a bit further back, got him to relax and breath, which may be the key, and once he got to the outside he finished off well for a good tough win.

“Opie rides Matamata very well, which certainly showed in his execution of the ride, and the team at the Main Stable has done a great job with him.”

It was another solid day for trainer Jamie Richards, with two wins and two seconds on the programme, and now only eight short of the all-time record number of wins (143), with a third of the season remaining.

Owned by the Te Akau 2019 Karaka Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), The Mighty Spar was purchased by David Ellis CNZM from the Book 1 draft of Waikato Stud. ByCox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) winning three-year-old Savabeel (Zabeel), a six-time Champion sire that proved himself one of the most versatile stallions in Australasia, he has a lovely cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer on the dam side of Zabeel, the sire of Savabeel, and through the sire line of dam sire O'Reilly.

“He's taken a bit longer than expected to get there as a racehorse, but his first two runs were promising and it was a really good performance,” Ellis said.

“Jamie (Richards) has been patient with him, worked him out, and I'm thrilled for the owners. He's a beautiful type of horse and the way he's finding the line should stand him in good stead up in grade.”

Ellis said preparations are underway for a busy racing programme during Easter.

“Karyn and I are going to Awapuni on Easter Saturday for their Sires' Produce Stakes' Day, and we're really looking forward to a great days' racing - it's a race meeting that has been pretty good to us over the years.

“We'll have runners on the same day at Ellerslie, and then again on Monday at Tauranga.”

Sponsors' representative Suzanne Catley, daughter of Bob Black, who owned Shivaree, said: “Congratulations to Te Akau and to Jamie Richards. Dad loved Matamata and loved racing. It was his big thing and he loved the people involved.

“He was brought up on a farm in Hinuera, attended Matamata College, and studied law at Victoria University. When the Second World War broke out, he joined the New Zealand Royal Air Force and served in the Pacific and Guadalcanal as a fighter pilot.

“After the war he got involved in breeding and purchasing horses and Shivaree was trained by DJ O'Sullivan to win the Tancred Stakes (1979), and possibly his most exciting race was when he finished second to the famous Dulcify in the Cox Plate. It was grand battle.”

Interestingly, the weight-for-age $1.5m Tancred Stakes (Gr. 1, 2400m) is contested on Easter Saturday (3 April) at Rosehill, a race in which Melody Belle (Commands) attempts to notch her 15thGroup One win.

The Mighty Spar was strapped Tamweer Alam.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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