Riccarton Treble - Sorcha the Scorcher

Date: 24 Aug 2023

Riccarton Treble - Sorcha the Scorcher


Training partners Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson remained unbeaten after Sorcha (4 m Burgundy – Niamh Elizabeth, by Per Incanto) won the $17,000 Entain/NZB Insurance Pearl Series Fillies & Mares Maiden 1200 metres (eligible $20,000 bonus) on 24 August at Riccarton (poly-track).


After Navalha (Sebring) won the Rating 75 1600 metres earlier on the programme, Sorcha was second off the rank and, rated a top three chance, also obliged in fine fashion.

Boasting genuine attributes right through the trials' stage and her first preparation, Sorcha showed her readiness with a good gallop for third when trialling on 1 August at Te Rapa, and benefitted from a perfect ride by Michael McNab.

After coming from off the pace to win aboard Navalha, McNab utilised barrier one to lead and after doing her work beautifully, and appearing to travel best turning in, she came away once clicked up to score easing down by nearly two and a quarter lengths.  

“It was another lovely ride by Michael (McNab), controlling the speed beautifully and she quickened up for a nice win,” Walker said.

“She was very unlucky not to break through in her first preparation and she's secured a great incentive and prize money when picking up the Pearl Series Bonus as well.”

Bred by Glenn & Catherine Holmes and Te Akau Stud, and owned by them in conjunction with Paul Martin, Sorcha is the year older sister to stable-mate Cu Chulainn, who won two from four and was stakes' placed in the Champagne Stakes (Listed, 1200m) last season - continuing the trend of good horses stemming from the family.

It was Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM that kicked things off when he raced Thrive (Colombia) with his good friend and breeder Ken Browne. 

Thrive was out of the dam of Niamh Elizabeth, Trove (Paris Opera), bred by Tom and Jane Lowry, from their Okawa Stud family, before being purchased by Browne, while third dam Fun (Three Legs – Enjoy, by Aythorpe) produced In Joyment (St Hilarion), who included six wins over staying distances and amassed stakes of $579,974.

A winner at her second start in New Zealand, In Joyment transferred to Gai Waterhouse, Sydney, where in 1998 she won the Metropolitan Handicap (Gr. 1, 2500m).

Ellis purchased Niamh Elizabeth for $62,500 at the 2014 NZB Select Yearling Sale and, raced by Martin, she was a handy mare that won over 1200 metres at Matamata.

Irish Red was her first foal, bred and owned by the same trio, a dual winner to 1400 metres and stakes' placed three times. 

“Ken (Browne) and I raced Thrive, a Group Three winning half-sister to the mother of Irish Red, Sorcha, and Cu Chulainn, and I bought Niamh Elizabeth as a yearling at Karaka,” Ellis said.

“With Glenn and Cathie and Paul, all really loyal owners with Te Akau, we’ve had a lot of fun and the now that Sorcha has won it just adds to the good results.  

“It’s a family that keeps improving as they mature, has a lot of depth going back to an old Okawa Stud family, and it’s good to see it continuing to deliver.”

Sorcha was strapped by Ashley Handley. 



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


Sign up to our newsletter