New Year Cheer - Group 3 Winner Savy Yong Blonk

Date: 2 Jan 2021

New Year Cheer - Group 3 Winner Savy Yong Blonk

Best credentialed in the race, Savy Yong Blonk  (5 m Savabeel - Ampin, by Pins) turned the tables on Platinum Invador (Redwood) in the $200,000 SkyCity City of Auckland Cup (Gr. 3, 2400m) on 1 January at Ellerslie.

Second to Platinum Invador in the corresponding race last year, Savy Yong Blonk had finished second in both the Counties Cup (Gr. 3, 2100m) and Waikato Cup (Gr. 3, 2400m) leading up to the New Year's Day staying classic, and won with a high-quality ride by Danielle Johnson. 

“I'm thrilled for the Gartshore boys,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis. “They're great blokes that gave us the filly to train and as breeders, it's a massive result to cap three Group 3 places with a win.

“I know they've been a bit frustrated finishing second, but it's a game of inches and today they got their nose in front, so I'm thrilled for them.”

Having rarely put in a sub-par performance throughout her career, Savy Yong Blonk notched her sixth win for owner-breeders Bill & Margaret Gartshore and Jim & Susan Gartshore, and took her earnings to $284,250.

“We're over the moon and it's absolutely unreal,” said Bill Gartshore. “We were bridesmaid in this race last year, bridesmaid in her last two starts and our hearts were in our mouths when we saw how close it was and we waited for the Judge to make his call. 

“I have to thank Te Akau. They are amazing with their communications to us and they certainly keep us informed. 

“Jamie Richards will pick up his phone any time of the day, so that's big ups for Te Akau, and once again I can't go past Waikato Stud - Mark and Garry Chittick. Jim and I, we're a couple of builders and knew nothing about horses eight to ten years ago. We had a couple of beers with Mark (Chittick) and here we are today winning a Group Three.”

From back of midfield and 12that the 1200 metres, Johnson had Savy Yong Blonk improving inside the 800m and it was tough display of riding in order for the mare to work through her gears in the straight and change stride and flatten out near the line.

“She really deserves it, this mare, she honestly does,” Richards said. “She'll be up in the ratings and we may have to look at weight-for-age racing, or it could be time to give her a freshen-up. 

“We'd love to compete again Cups races, because it's good for New Zealand racing to see these good horses in the Cups, but we'll have to wait and see what the handicapper does.

“She's beautiful to deal with at the races, but can be a handful at home. She's a good tough Savabeel mare and I'm thrilled for the Gartshore boys, who have been great supporters with horses in the stable.

“They're very passionate about it. We have another Savabeel filly in the stable for them and they're right into their breeding, so they're very important for our industry. They're also great sponsors at their home track in Tauranga and beyond, so they put money back into the game as well.”

Richards also heaped praise on the quality of ride by Johnson, and added that the run by fourth placed stable-mate In A Twinkling (Fastnet Rock) was the “run of the race”, after being caught wide, and Te Akau Caliburn (Camelot) was “good in behind them”, finishing sixth and “he showed he's up to it today”.

A filly that performed at the top-end as a three-year-old, Savy Yong Blonk is the first foal from unraced Pins (Snippets) mare Ampin, in turn from the impressive winning race mare Ambitious (Last Tycoon), who finished second in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and left seven individual winners of 22 races.

Savy Yong Blonk, in the white with black & red chequers, was strapped by Hunter Durrant.

Photo credit -


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