Taranaki Winning Double - Win No.1 Luxuriant

Date: 28 Apr 2022

Taranaki Winning Double - Win No.1 Luxuriant


Te Akau New Zealand trainer Mark Walker and the team took three to the races in Taranaki and returned home with two winners and a runner up - Bak Da Master ran a typically gritty race for second as he prepares for a winter jumps' campaign - while the first of two winners was the Te Akau bred Luxuriant ... read more ...


Rather astonishing when winning a recent trial at Taupo, Luxuriant (4 m Iffraaj - Opulent, by Keeper) franked her form in the $12,000 Maiden 1200 metres on 27 April at Hawera.

Ridden in the trial by race day jockey and Te Akau apprentice Joe Kamaruddin, who leads his novice rivals in apprentice premiership with 52 wins, Luxuriant stood in the gates and missed the start by eight lengths. She then tacked on near the home turn and sustained a huge run to win. It was nothing if not an audacious performance.

She had also won her previous trial on 12 April at Avondale when ridden by Opie Bosson, she found nice spot in third, angled clear at the 300m and finished strongly.

Although trialling a week apart and resuming eight days later, Luxuriant was obviously copping the schedule set by trainer Mark Walker and rewarded her connections by winning at her third start. Her two previous starts were both at Matamata, last October and January this year.

Kamaruddin had Luxuriant out smartly from barrier one before settling to trail, was clear to challenge rounding the home turn and asserted her dominance over the concluding stages.

In a race sponsored by All Things Automotive, Luxuriant shortened to outright favouritism ($2.20 & $1.10) and ran 1200 metres in 1:12.6 on footing upgraded to Soft7 after race one.

“It was a good win, she was very well ridden, and I was so pleased for the owners as they've been very patient with this mare,” Walker said.

“She's a had few issues with maturity, but now as a four-year-old I think we'll see the best of her going forward and she should win more races.”

An ability to handle yielding ground gained credence both from her sire Iffraaj (Zafonic), through the likes of former stable-mate and triple Group One winner Gingernuts, Turn Me Loose, Fix, and New York Minute, while dam Opulent, bought by David Ellis CNZM as a yearling at Karaka and trained by the stable to win three races and finish fifth at Group 3 level, also appreciated some give.

Purchased from Cambridge Stud at 2013 NZB Premier Sale, Opulent is owned by Te Akau Opulent Syndicate, who bred Luxuriant.

Opulent was a smart filly that worked effortlessly and looked the part when trialling as a two-year-old.

Ellis said at the time: “This filly is from one of the best families in the studbook. She is a beautiful filly, with plenty of strength and she really has great balance.

“The second dam is by Nijinsky (Northern Dancer) and family includes group one winners: Redoute's Choice, Platinum Scissors, Manhattan Rain, Umatilla, and Hurricane Sky.

“Keeper (Danehill) is a great sire of fillies and we have already trained a Filly of the Year by Keeper, Insouciant.”

Of note, a family member was purchased for $1.9 million at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast, and the dam of Opulent, Silk Slipper (Woodman), was retired through injury after finishing second at her only start.

“I bought her dam, Dancing Show (Nijinsky), in foal to Thunder Gulch (Gulch), which I sold for $1.2 million in the Sydney sale,” recalled Sir Patrick Hogan (then Cambridge Stud owner). “I bred her to Woodman to produce Silk Slipper and then to Danehill to get Dane Dancer.

“Opulent was a special foal, she was a special yearling and a special type of yearling when she went through the ring at the sales. Right from the start, she was a very good-looking and smart filly.”

Luxuriant was strapped by Reece Trumper.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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