Season Review - Wild Night Wows Them

Date: 18 Jul 2023

Season Review - Wild Night Wows Them


As we reflect on a record breaking season of 196 wins, we look back on our horses that delivered at the elite Group/Listed level - a total of 34 black type wins for the season - two of those were dominant performances by Wild Night, another David Ellis CNZM purchase (for just $50,000) - a star of the season before being sidelines by injury ... enjoy his two-time black type season review ...


Making it three wins from four starts, Wild Night (3 g Vanbrugh - Supreme, by Falkirk) scored an exciting victory in the $120,000 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) on 24 October at Te Rapa.

Stepping through the grades winning a Maiden 3YO 1200 metres and Rating 65 1400 metres in two recent starts at Matamata, Wild Night won in a manner setting up a long-term goal in the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m) in January at Pukekohe - a race in which he finished second to subsequent dual Group One winner Prowess (Proisir).

Patiently ridden back in the field, along with third placed stable-mate Dynastic (Almanzor), Wild Night was aided by a genuine pace that intensified inside the 600m and jockey Craig Grylls extracted the goods with a strong finish down the outside.

Running very similar time to impressive Soliloquy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) winner Legarto (Proisir), earlier on the programme, Wild Night ran 1:22.6, last 600m in 34.9, for 1400 metres and paid $5.80 & $1.70 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Wild Night was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM for $50,000 at the Karaka 2021 Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Windsor Park Stud, and owned by the Te Akau Love to Party Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “He's a really nice colt. We thought he was very good value at the price and we were prepared to take a chance on well-bred young sire Vanbrugh. 

“His grand-dam, Maxamore (Volksraad), was a really good filly that won the Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m).”

Wild Night is from the second crop by Group One winner (Spring Champion Stakes, 2000m) and dual Group Three winner (1800m & 2000m) Vanbrugh, by sire of sires Encosta de Lago (Fairy King).

The Spring Champion Stakes, a stallion making race, was also won by Savabeel (Zabeel) and Dundeel (High Chaparral). 

Wild Night is a half-brother to Play That Song (Showcasing), Group Two winner and Karaka Million 2YO runner-up. 

Speaking on behalf of the owners, syndicate manager Karyn Fenton-Ellis said: “This horse was appropriately named for, probably, 90 percent of his owners. I'm sure they're going to have a wild night and good to see all of them here on course to witness a great win.”

Previous wins by Te Akau in the Sarten Memorial Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m):

2003 - Maroofity (Maroof)

2018 - Sword of Osman (Savabeel)

2020 - Need I Say More (No Nay Never)



Continuing to raise the bar, Wild Night (3 g Vanbrugh - Supreme, by Falkirk) recorded an audacious victory in the $100,000 Shaw's Wire Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (Listed, 1400m) on Boxing Day at Pukekohe. 

Coming from last to win the Sarten Memorial Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) in October and making it four from five with an easy victory in the 3YO 1200 metres on 10 December at Te Rapa, Wild Night extended his impressive record ahead of the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m) on January 21 at Pukekohe - where he finished second.

Given a lovely ride by Opie Bosson, Wild Night chased a genuine pace in sixth, five lengths 600m, and was unimpeded when mounting his challenge in the straight. After levelling with the leaders he looked classy late in a performance that again oozed his untapped ability. 

“He's a good horse and there's still a bit of improvement in him too,” Bosson said. 

“He's screaming out for the mile. They had him a little off the bit most the way, but he's a good horse when he lets down underneath you and gives an amazing feeling.

“He reminds me a bit of Te Akau Shark and looks like him as well. He's got the same racing style.”



“Some of the owners are also in On the Bubbles, who won the Karaka Million 2YO and Group One Sires' and he won this race too,” David Ellis CNZM said.

“He didn't cost a lot, but proving to be a very talented horse and giving his owners plenty of thrills.”


Previous wins by Te Akau in the Uncle Remus Stakes (Listed, 1400m):

2021 - On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau) 

2017 - Age of Fire (Fastnet Rock) 

2016 - Hall of Fame (Savabeel) 

2015 - Xtravagant (Pentire) 


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