Savoir Faire Flys the Flag

Date: 12 Nov 2023

Savoir Faire Flys the Flag


Stakes' placed Savoir Faire (4 g Savabeel – Etiquette, by O’Reilly) won the $40,000 GG Engineering Benchmark 64 2000 metres on 10 November at Pakenham (Victoria).


Trainer Mark Walker had only one engaged, which resulted in a substantial win.

Utilizing barrier three to secure a lovely trip in the trial for apprentice jockey Luke Cartwright (a3), Savoir Faire jogged along effortlessly, was full of running turning for home and despite a hefty impost he raced away to win by two and three-quarter lengths. 

“There was no problem for the big boy today, he carried it (60kg) like a champ and won very well,” Cartwright said.

“I did a nice piece of work with him on Tuesday and I was very confident of our chances. The big straight and, obviously, the drop in class, but once we got out I was pretty happy with him.

“I’m pleased to be riding for big trainers and it’s getting my name in the game.”

On Soft5 footing, Savoir Faire ran 2000 metres in 2:07.7, last 600m in 35, and paid $8.20 & $2.60 on the NZ TAB tote. 

A dominant Maiden winner over the same trip (2000m) at a similar time last year, Savoir Faire ran home well for second in the Waikato Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m) and spelled following a creditable sixth in the New Zealand Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m).

After going to the line untested in the Benchmark 70 1420 metres on 24 September at Flemington, at his first start in Australia, he got going late for fourth in the Benchmark 78 1600 metres on 20 October at Moe, and stepping in trip met favourably with his appreciation.

“It was a lovely ride by a promising young apprentice, and I think winning like that will really boost the confidence of the horse,” Walker said.

“We can now look to a better class of races for him, but the key in winning was the big roomy straight, giving him time to wind up, and getting up in distance to 2000 metres again.

“We’re just starting to see the best of him and he’ll be even better as a five and six-year-old.”

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 2021 RTR Stallion Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM). 

“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.

“We think that staying races in Melbourne will really suit him and that’s why we sent him over there.

“He’s added to the list of winners this season for us in Melbourne, and currently running at a strike rate of 3.5 shows how well it’s going even in these early stages of building up the numbers.

“We’re looking forward to a good day of racing (Saturday 11 November) and we’re well represented with horses at Te Rapa, Riccarton, Flemington, and Singapore.”

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, and Brando, 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.


Savoir Faire was strapped by Hailey Morton.


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