Nucleozor Blitzes his Listed Opposition

Date: 14 Apr 2024

Nucleozor Blitzes his Listed Opposition

As expected, hot favourite Nucleozor (2 g Almanzor – Nucleonic, by Burgundy) proved far too good in the $80,000 Riccarton Park Function Centre Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) on Saturday at Riccarton.

Having unleashed a huge finish to win the 2YO 820 metres on debut on 2 March at Wingatui, and asserting superiority to easily win the Pearl Series 2YO 1000 metres on 23 March at Riccarton, Nucleozor is nothing if not a horse on the rise and he easily accounted for his rivals.

Ridden by premiership leading jockey Warren Kennedy, who recorded his 24th this season win for Te Akau trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, Nucleozor was handily placed from barrier one, quickened through to arrest the lead off stable-mate Discretion Rules (Alabama Express) at the 200m and shot away to win by four and a quarter lengths.

For Discretion Rules, it was another bold run to secure a stakes' placed second.

“It was another really good win by Nucleozor,” Walker said. 

“He was bred at Te Akau Stud, which always makes it special when a horse comes from the farm as a foal right through to this stage and especially to win at this level.

“We’ve always loved the progeny of Almanzor. We think he’s an underrated stallion and his progeny only get better each year.

“What Nucleozor is doing as a two-year-old is quite exciting and we can only expect him to get better as a three and four-year-old. 

“He’s a horse with a lot of promise and we look forward to the future with him.”

The 22nd two-year-old win for the stable this season, Nucleozor delivered the 134th win for the premiership leading training partners. This tally includes 29 stakes' wins (20 NZ & 9 Aust.), coming at a lower strike rate (5.7) than last season when Te Akau set a record 203 domestic wins.

Nucleozor is a brother to stable-mate Qali Al Farrasha (3 f Almanzor – Nucleonic), who won easing down by four lengths over 1600 metres in February at Matamata. She subsequently finished second in the $150,000 McKee Family Sunline Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m) on Derby Day at Ellerslie, and third in the $500,000 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) on 16 March at Trentham. 

Qali Al Farrasha has now travelled to Te Akau's Cranbourne stable, with some Victorian stakes' race targets on the horizon.

Each bred and owned by David Ellis and David and Matthew Peacocke (Westonlea Bloodstock), their Te Akau trained dam Nucleonic (Burgundy) impressed winning on debut over 1200 as a two-year-old, while grand-dam Mexican Rose (Volksraad) was Champion 2YO and 3YO in Singapore, having impressed winning two of her three starts in New Zealand.

“He’s proving to be a really good horse, Nucleozor, and it’s quite incredible to think that we’ve won the Welcome Stakes nine times in just over 20 years,” Ellis said.

“He’s a brother to Qali Al Farrasha, who is over in our stable at Cranbourne and preparing for the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) on 27 April at Morphettville, and it’s a cross (Almanzor/Burgundy) that is working incredibly well.

“It shows what a great job Hunter Durrant and our team are doing with our horses in our stables at Riccarton. 

“Sam (Bergerson) has been there looking over the horses and watched them all work this morning, and he’s very pleased with their condition.

“We’ve had 15 individual two-year-old winners this season with horses we’ve either bred or bought as yearlings, and it’s particularly exciting because we buy horses with the scope to train on and it gives us some really nice three-year-old prospects for next season.”

Nucleozor was strapped by Naomi Warrander.

Previous wins for Te Akau in the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m):

2002 – Maroofity (Maroof)

2005 – Xbert (Bertolini)

2009 – Encosta Diablo (Encosta de Lago)

2010 – Bespoke (Pins)

2015 – Sassy ‘N’ Smart (Smart Missile) 

2017 – Al Hasa (Exceed and Excel) 

2020 – Avonallo (Belardo)

2022 – Sky On Fire (Exceed And Excel)

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