Puketiro Delivers Awapuni Double

Date: 2 Mar 2023

Puketiro Delivers Awapuni Double


Back on sure footing, grey filly Puketiro (3 f Savabeel - Matakana, by Mastercraftsman) made amends in the $30,000 Milton Park Rating 65 1400 metres on 1 March at Awapuni.

After racing clear to win by three lengths when debuting in the Maiden 3YO 1100 metres on 30 December at Taupo, Puketiro languished late on Soft7 in the Pearl Series Rating 65 1400 metres on 3 February at Te Rapa, but aided again by good footing, she was true to form.

Utilising barrier two to situate behind the leaders, Puketiro was driven into the clear by Opie Bosson 400 metres out with both horse and rider showing their class to reel in a game McKhan (Mongolian Khan).

On Good4 footing, Puketiro ran 1400 metres in a polished 1:22.7, last 600m in 34.2, and paid $4.00 & $1.80 on the NZ TAB tote.

“She's a progressive filly, bred on a very good farm at Christopher Grace's,” said trainer Mark Walker.

“She's a little bit highly strung at this stage, but I think she's learning with each race and experience and getting back onto a good track really helped her. 

“She has the type and pedigree to make into a really nice four and five-year-old mare.”

It was the second win on the programme for Walker, following Mehzebeen (Almanzor) in the Maiden 2200 metres, on the back of six winners last Saturday, and his 134 wins (26 stakes wins) this season has him 71 clear of second in the premiership. 

Bred by Christopher Grace QSM who shares in the ownership with his wife Susanna, I J & J F Cameron, D W Dalziell, A E Falloon, J R & L D Griffith, G Jones, J E & S J McKenzie, and B C & T D White, Grace is a well known identity in New Zealand farming and racing circles as a breeder of quality thoroughbreds.

Through the deeds of Shillelagh (Savabeel), Precious Time (Stravinsky), Grazia (Savabeel), Dreamer (More Than Ready), Motivation (Mastercraftsman), Spirit Of Galway (Rip Van Winkle), Tauparae (Savabeel), and Invincibeel (Savabeel), Te Akau has built a long term relationship with horses either bred or owned by Grace, and is was exciting to see another nice prospect in the fold.

Puketiro is a sister to Tauparae and Invincibeel, mentioned above, with the latter purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $145,000, from draft of Little Avondale Stud, at the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale. 

Winner at a mile and potential stakes' quality in making, Invincibeel is owned by Bill & Jim Gartshore, who experienced Group One success with stable-mate Savy Yong Blonk (Savabeel) when she won the 2021 Livamol Classic (Gr. 1, 2040m). 

The pedigree has a beautiful cross of legendary stallion Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor), on the sire line, as sire of Zabeel (Sir Tristram), and dam line of Matakana as sire of third dam sire Grosvenor (Sir Tristram). 

From a family that has proven to produce the real deal, Puketiro is by eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), from a young mare by successful sire Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer), who is also dam sire of Group One winner Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible). 

Her grand dam, Taitanium, by 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) winner and renowned sire Kingdom Bay (Otehi Bay), was an impressive five-time winner to 1600 metres and stakes placed at 2000 metres, who subsequently left four winners of 14 races including Wellington Cup (Gr. 2, 2400m) winner Graphic (Volksraad). 

Puketiro was strapped by assistant trainer Sam Bergerson.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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