Six Win Saturday - Win No.3 Avonallo - Listed Welcome Stakes

Date: 15 Nov 2020

Six Win Saturday - Win No.3 Avonallo - Listed Welcome Stakes

Avonallo  (2 c Belardo - Real Angel, by O'Reilly) provided the first NZ stakes' success for his sire and entered the fray of fancied Karaka Million 2YO prospects when winning $50,000 Frantic Bloodstock Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) on New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton.

Having chased home race favourite Follow Your Dreams (Contributer) in each of his two starts over 800 metres, Avonallo was able to cap two seconds with an authoritative victory.

After beginning smartly from barrier five, Avonallo was poised for battle on the hindquarters of Follow Your Dreams turning for home and it became evident a furlong out that he had his measure. 

“He got a bit lost when he hit the front, but to his credit he pinned his ears back and had a go,
 Bosson said. “He was such a laidback horse in the running and 1200 metres should be right up his alley. He's got the right attitude for the Karaka Million and his temperament is beautiful. He's pretty pushbutton too, so in with a chance.”

It was a terrific ride by Bosson, driving him clear before easing near the line and further proof of his Champion status.

“The horse has kept improving and when a baby keeps putting on weight as they get deeper into their prep it's always a good sign,” said leading trainer Jamie Richards. “He's never left any feed the whole way through and it's great to see it all come together on the last day of the carnival.”

Richards said Avonallo “wouldn't do a lot” between now and the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) on 23 January at Ellerslie - a race Te Akau has won for the last four consecutive years.

“He's paid up and he'll have enough money in the bin,” Richards said. “He'll have 10 days in the paddock and we'll probably run him in the race a fortnight beforehand, which we like to use, and then he'll be there.

“He's a nice colt and I'd like to give a big thank you to Chris Rutten. He's been a great supporter and Sam Williams who is also in the ownership too.

“It's great to have the first NZ stakes' winner for a horse like Belardo. Mark Chitty stands him at Haunui Farm, and he's a young sire that has already had six stakes' winners internationally and could be important for our industry.”

On Dead5 footing, Avonallo ran the 1000 metres in 57.9, last 600m in 33.9, returned $2.40 & $1.10 in a market dominated by him and Follow Your Dreams.  

Comparing Avonallo to Al Hasa, who also won the Welcome Stakes for the stable, Richards said: “Al Hasa was Australian bred by Exceed and Excel and a very fast horse. This horse has a lot of scope and he'll get further. He's very athletic and there is more improvement to come. He's going to be an exciting horse in the future.

“We've used this race before to lead them into the Karaka Million: Avantage, Al Hasa, so it's a good guide.”

Avonallo provided Te Akau with their seventh win the Welcome Stakes, after Al Hasa (Exceed and Excel) won in 2017 and previously with Sassy ‘N' Smart (Smart Missile) Bespoke (Pins), Encosta Diablo (Encosta De Lago), Maroofity (Maroof), and Xbert (Bertolini).

“What a thrill to get a hat-trick of wins on New Zealand Cup Day,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM. “It's one of the biggest thrills you could ever have in racing and just shows what an outstanding job that all the team have been doing for the last 12 weeks at Riccarton. I'm so proud of them and you can't achieve results like this without incredible staff and they've all been working so hard.

“Chris Rutten, he's a legend and I'm very proud that he's chosen Te Akau to train his horses. Avonallo is now a genuine Karaka Million horse. Two years ago we trained Yourdeel for him, who was Champion Two-Year-Old. He ran third in the Karaka Million before winning both juvenile Group 1 races that season, and who knows, maybe we can get another winner for him in the $1m dollar race.

“Avonallo was beautifully ridden by our stable rider Opie Bosson. It's his first stakes' winner this season for us and a real incentive for him after all the hard work he's done riding track work and trials to get his weight and fitness spot on for the big races. It was a beautiful ride and it makes it all worthwhile for him.” 

Buyer and co-owner Chris Rutten said: “It looked like more ground was always going to help him. He found the 800 metres a little bit short, but we're rapt with the result because you never know with two-year-olds what's going to happen on the day. 

“Great thanks to Opie (Bosson) and Jamie (Richards). Jamie is incredible, especially with two-year-olds, as well. It is great fun and you just can't beat racing.”

Rutten has an incredible record in the Karaka Million. “It started with Our Touche who got third, back the next year to win with Vespa, then Kingsman finished third - probably could have won in another stride, went back with Scott Base and won the Karaka Million 3YO Classic, and then Yourdeel finished third, and hopefully we'll be there with Avonallo.

“Jamie was always confident with this horse just wanting a bit more ground than the 800 metres and he's a late foal. His birthday is actually today, so he's just turned two. 

“I bought him off Sam Williams (Little Avondale Stud) at Karaka, and he's racing him with me. We named him Avonallo, as a mix of Little Avondale and our place, Cavallo Farm.”

Avonallo was strapped by Sumeet Pillay.

Photo credit -


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