Sword of State Shut the Gate - 3 Win Derby Day

Date: 6 Mar 2022

Sword of State Shut the Gate - 3 Win Derby Day


Champion Two-Year-Old Sword of State (3 c Snitzel - In the Vanguard, by Encosta de Lago) further enhanced his stallion career with a tenacious victory in the $100,000 Haunui Farm King's Plate (Gr. 3, 1200m) on Derby Day at Ellerslie.

From nice spot in third, the colt battled with pace making speedster Babylon Berlin (All Too Hard) before gaining ascendency in a stirring finish.

“He's a neat horse to ride,” said jockey Leith Innes, on dismounting. “He's gives you a great feel and needed to dig deep because the filly had us on toast for a bit, but he's a champion colt.

“He loves New Zealand, his home, and obviously he loves Ellerslie.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM at Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020, and owned by Te Akau 2020 Four Colt Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Sword of State has won six of 10, and has been secured to stand at Cambridge Stud in the future.

“That was a thrilling finish, especially being able to run down Babylon Berlin, one of the fastest horses in New Zealand,” Ellis said.

“Sword of State is going to make a fantastic stallion. Just look at the determination he's got. Leith (Innes) got off and said he's only an medium sized horse but he's got a massive stride, nice and strong, and a huge will to win.

“Those are the qualities you want in a stallion to stand at stud, and I'm thrilled that in due course he'll be a resident sire at Cambridge Stud.

“He was part of the Colts' Syndicate that I put together in 2020. Last year, Dynastic (Almanzor), our most recent Karaka Million winner was part of the Colts' Syndicate, and I'll be putting another one together after buying some nice yearling colts next week at Karaka.”

Running electric time, Sword of State clocked 1:08.1, last 600m in 33.2, for 1200 metres and paid $2.20 & $1.30.

“Babylon Berlin is a class mare, Group One performed, but he was in for the fight and Leith (Innes) gave him a lovely ride,” said trainer Jamie Richards, securing his second stakes' victory on the programme and 22ndwin inside two weeks.

“I was very proud of the way that he went and showed he's a proper sprinter that will head to the breeding barn at some stage.

“He's got a great attitude, that's probably his biggest attribute and lovely demeanour. He's not an overly big colt, but has plenty of natural strength and could shorten up some of the big, rangy, mares that are in New Zealand. He's going to be a really good fit, I think.”

From a very fast family and a standout colt at the sales, Sword of State is the first foal from Encosta de Lago mare In the Vanguard, and sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice) is a multiple Champion Australian Sire.

Sword of State carries a Danehill cross through his sire line and on dam side of In the Vanguard, as sire of grand-dam sire Danzero.

“The colt was strapped by Reece Trumper, who is a great young man and doing a fantastic job for us,” Ellis said. “He told me this morning that there could be four winners from the Colt Barn, and we've had three and got the favourite (Zeitaku) in the last race (who finished a stirring second despite being slow away).”

Sword of State was strapped by Reece Trumper.



Photo credit - www.raceimges.co.nz


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