Saturday Triple Treat - Win 3 Challa the Champ

Date: 9 Oct 2022

Saturday Triple Treat - Win 3 Challa the Champ


Recording his fifth win, Challa(6 g Dissident - Are There Any, by Exceed and Excel) took out the $40,000 Colchester Engineering Rating 75 1200 metres on Saturday at Matamata.


Franking his excellent fresh-up record when winning over stable-mate Aris Aris (Contributer), who won a day earlier at Timaru, in the Rating 75 1100 metres on 16 September at Taupo, Challa was having his first start on the home course.

With weight relief to 59kg, courtesy of Kelsey Hannan (a3), Challa was able to assume his customary role as pacemaker, came to the 300m full of running and proved simply too slick.

Winning by two and a quarter lengths, Challa led home a Te Akau trifecta, with Fashion Shoot (Savabeel) closing strongly for second and Millefiori (Iffraaj) finished third after capitalizing on the trail.

On footing upgraded to Soft5, Challa ran 1200 metres in 1:10.7, last 600m in 35.3, and shortened from an earlier fixed odds quote ($21.00 & $6.00) to pay $12.30 & $3.90 on NZ TAB tote.

Trainer Mark Walker, notching his third win on the programme, praised the farrier for his efforts.

“Full credit to Gareth (Allis), he's got his feet right and he's going really well,” he said.

“A lot went wrong for him last season, but he's won both starts this time in and I felt the (weight) claim helps him as well.

“We can look for something a bit better with him now.”

Stakes placed when runner-up in his first three starts as a two-year-old, Challa is resilient, been patiently handled while finishing fourth or better in 14 of 24 starts, and continues rewarding his owners in the Te Akau Challa Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

Purchased by David Ellis CNMZ for $100,000, from the draft of Trelawney Stud, at the NZB 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, Challa was the first foal from Are There Any, a mare that won six races from 1300m to 2050m in Melbourne, while his grand-dam, Honest Politician (Distorted Humor), was also a very tough racehorse that won eight times (1600m - 2000m) in Australia.

“He's always been a beautifully balanced horse and his dam sire Exceed and Excel has been a fantastic speed influence in Australia,” Ellis said.

“He's one of our fastest horses and the way he won today suggests he might prove competitive against some better sprinters.”

Challa was from the first crop of Australian Horse of the Year and Champion Sprinter, five-time Group One winner, Dissident (Sebring). Trained by Peter Moody, Dissident was known for his exceptionally tough qualities when winning from 1000 metres to 1600 metres. The mating also has a lovely cross of once the greatest sire of stakes winners in the world, Danehill (Danzig).

Coincidentally, it was also the third win for Challa in the month of October across his career.


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