Savoir Faire Claims Caulfield

Date: 12 May 2024

Savoir Faire Claims Caulfield

Recording his second win in Australia, Savoir Faire (4 g Savabeel – Etiquette, by O’Reilly) bounced back to impressively win the A$80,000 Darren Gauci Benchmark 78 2000 metres on Saturday at Caulfield (Melbourne).

Savoir Faire followed in the footsteps of stable-mate Midnight Blue (So You Think), who, a week earlier, also won over 2000 metres at Caulfield. 

Stakes' placed in the Waikato Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m) and spelled following a creditable sixth in the New Zealand Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) to end his three-year-old season, Savoir Faire raced away to win over 2000 metres in November at Pakenham (Victoria), and soon after took a break.

Following an encouraging resumption over 1600 metres in March at Pakenham, when coming from the rear with a strong finish for close second, Savoir Faire then paid the price after being caught wide in the Benchmark 78 2000 metres at Mornington, but made amends in grand style. 

Drawn the outside in a capacity field of 16, Savoir Faire settled at the rear for apprentice Celine Gaudray (a1.5), tracked up ominously with cover from the 700m and after scything between runners at the 300m he raced away to win by two lengths.

“I galloped this horse the other day and I thought he was well and truly over the odds because he galloped super,” said Gaudray, after her fourth win from seven rides for trainer Mark Walker this season. 

“I had to be a bit patient rather than come around them and wait for my runs to open, which luck came our way and he was able to finish off nicely.

“Since (Te Akau) they’ve come here they’ve given me a lot of support, quite a few city winners. I really appreciate their support because they’ve got nice horses and they do a terrific job.”

On Soft6 footing, Savoir Faire ran 2000 metres in 2:05.4, last 600m in 36.8, and paid $23.00 & $6.20 on the NZ TAB tote.

“That’s how he needs to be ridden and it was a lovely ride of Celine’s,” Walker said. 

“I think the cut in the track also helped, but we’ve always thought he was going to make a nice staying horse. 

“He’s been a bit green and awkward at times, but Ben (Gleeson) and the team are doing a great job with him. 

“We’ve been patient with him, too, and I think as a five-year-old he’ll end being a really nice horse.”

Considered the pick of progeny by eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel) at the 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, Savoir Faire was purchased by David Ellis CNZM, from the draft of Ohukia Lodge, and owned by Te Akau Stud No. 1.  

“He was a staying type, a real Derby type to my eye, when we bought him and the way he finds the line over 2000 metres is testament to that,” Ellis said.

“He’s recorded all three wins over 2000 metres and it’s exciting for the owners to have a winner on a Saturday at Caulfield.

“You don’t see many sit back and wide from the outside at Caulfield and get through them like he did to win, so it really is encouraging when you consider some of the staying races and Cups he could potentially race in next season.

“Mark (Walker) and Ben (Gleeson) and their staff are doing a great job of training the horses from our stables at Cranbourne, and how well they are going is great recognition for the horses that have been educated, prepared, and raced in New Zealand.”

Savabeel progeny provided a rare double when Te Akau-trained Noverre (Savabeel) won the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and The Perfect Pink (Savabeel) won the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) in 2021, while Savabeel success stories for the stable include Group One winners Probabeel, Amarelinha, Hall of Fame, Savy Yong Blonk, Sword of Osman, Cool Aza Beel, Embellish, Prise De Fer, and Skew Wiff, as well as Group winners: Splurge, Gold Fever, Aotea Lad, Synchronize, Brando, Ascend The Throne, and Certainly, while his sire sons include Embellish, Cool Aza Beel, and Noverre.

The dam of Savoir Faire, Eitquette, is a sister to quadruple Group One winner Sacred Falls (O’Reilly), who, while successful, unfortunately had his time cut short as a stallion at Waikato Stud, when euthanized after producing four crops. 

With a strike rate of 3.6, Walker is the best credentialed Metropolitan trainer this season in Melbourne, have presented 51 runners for 14 wins.

Savoir Faire was strapped by Jason Levin, strapper of Imperatriz.

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