Nine-Time Group 1 Winner Avantage Retired
17 Sep 2021
Te Akau stable star, nine-time Group 1 winner Avantage(Fastnet Rock – Asavant, by Zabeel) has been retired after suffering a tendon injury.
At nine Group 1 wins, Avantage is the record-holder for her champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill).
The former Champion Two-Year-Old and Karaka Million winner, who has won Group races on both sides of the Tasman, was pre-post favourite for the Tarzino Trophy (Gr. 1, 1400m) on Saturday at Hastings.
“We’re all absolutely gutted about Avantage but unfortunately this can happen in racing,” said trainer Jamie Richards.
“We’d been very happy with her, but it became apparent when Nicole (Shailer) came back to work this afternoon that she had heat in her off-fore leg.
“We had the vet there to scan it immediately and she has a hole in the tendon and will be retired forthwith from racing.
“She’s been a wonderful mare who has achieved some incredible feats on the racetrack, and we can’t thank her enough for all the thrills and experiences she’s given us.
“A Karaka Million winner and Group 1 winning two-year-old that was named Champion Two-Year-Old and she’s gone on to conquer all before her in an amazing career.
“It’s very sad for the owners and all the team, especially Nicole who looks after her in the Middle Barn, and Trev (Stewart) who straps her – they just adore her and she can be quite cranky at times.
“We just want to reiterate what a wonderful job she’s done for all of us in the racing industry.”
Now six-year-old, Avantage appeared a classy package at the trials before winning impressively on debut in the 2YO 800 metres at Riccarton, October 2017.
The filly purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM for $210,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale recorded 16 wins from 28 starts and amassed $2.1 million prize money for Te Akau Avantage Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).
A given for Champion Two-Year-Old after notching her fourth consecutive win in the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m), and finishing second to stable-mate Sword of Osman (Savabeel) in the Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), Avantage extended her fabulous record with a huge victory in the Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m).
A Group Three winner as a three-year-old in Australia, in the Birthday Card Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill, she simply continued to improve.
A powerhouse galloper, unique in her action at full flight, and the type to run through brick walls, Avantage was the ultimate warrior. No matter the distance, having won Group 1 races from 1200 metres to 2000 metres, she displayed determination to win and once at peak was very hard to beat.
Last season alone, she won five Group 1 races, including four in a row, and lifted her number at elite level to nine.
While difficult to pinpoint her best win, victory in the 2020 Telegraph (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Trentham, the first of two, was memorable. Avantage had all the right attributes to win the Telegraph, but drew the outside barrier (13) and it took both a courageous performance and brilliant ride by Opie Bosson to get the job done.
A South Island bred family, the dam of Avantage, Asavant (Zabeel), won the Warstep Stakes (Listed, 2000m) as a three-year-old at Riccarton, gaining a Group 1 placing when finishing third in the Darci Brahma International Stakes (2000m), and from the family of Hong Kong star D B Pin (Darci Brahma), a Group One winner of $24m.
Given both her pedigree and exceptional race record, Avantage will be highly sought after as a broodmare, and Te Akau has announced that she will be sold to dissolve the racing partnership which will maximise the return to t\her sad but proud owners.