Riccarton Treble - Nicely Done Navalha

Date: 24 Aug 2023

Riccarton Treble - Nicely Done Navalha


Te Akau began its day in fine style on 24 August at Riccarton, winning the $17,000 Rating 75 1600 metres with Navalha (6 g Sebring – Afiado, by Encosta de Lago).

Four starts ago he recorded a strong victory in the Rating 65 1700 metres on 7 July at Awapuni (poly-track), before running fastest last 600m (33.3) for close fifth in the Rating 75 1600 metres on 28 July and finished well in the Rating 80 1400 metres on 9 August, both on the poly-track at Riccarton.

Ideally drawn in barrier four and ridden by dual premiership winning jockey Michael McNab, Navalha travelled kindly behind a genuine pace, set by two pacemakers involved in a tussle, and once clear inside the 400m he quickened home to score by an increasing two and half length margin. 

“It was a good win and a lovely ride of Michael’s,” said co-trainer Mark Walker. 

“He’s going well on the synthetic tracks and a horse that everyone likes in the stable. He’s so quiet and we’ll continue on with his campaign down south.”

In the race named CJC Stallion Tender Open Now, Navalha covered 1600 metres on the poly-track in 1:35.6 and the dominant favourite paid $2.20 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote. 

It was a clinical victory, aided by the tempo, and gives rise to loftier assignments in the future. 

“You’re always a bit nervous when a couple get out in front like that, but it was a mile and seemed that before the point of the turn he was coming into it nicely and good to see him extend in the straight,” said Fortuna Racing Manager John Galvin.

“He gets back and shown to need a trip, so getting back to a mile today was just perfect him.

“The reason we’ve gone to the synthetic (poly-track) these last couple of months is because he doesn’t handle wet tracks.

“It has advantages, not just for Navalha. We’ve won twice with Angel Wings, Hayate, and now twice with Navalha, and right across the whole Te Akau stable they’ve had a lot of success and now there are three synthetic tracks it’s giving us more options with these types of horses.

“He ran down there (Riccarton) last year and actually won down the chute (1200m) on turf, so he’ll either pursue further synthetic options or race on turf once the weather conditions and footing improves.

“He’s also racing like he might get 2000 metres and the Spring Classic (Listed, 2000m) towards the end of October could suit, as will other options. 

“He’s hasn’t been the soundest horse in the world, but probably as sound now as he’s ever been. He won his first start for us in December 2020 and he’s doing a nice job for the owners. We’re very happy. 

Claiming his fifth win for owners in the Fortuna Navalha Syndicate, Galvin purchased him for $27,500 from an Inglis Online Auction, after initially costing $475,000 as a yearling purchase by James Harron Bloodstock at the 2019 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Navalha was strapped by Kendyll Lee.




Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz - Ajay Berry


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