Tauranga Double - Plucky Puketiro

Date: 24 Sep 2023

Tauranga Double - Plucky Puketiro


Grey mare Puketiro (4 m Savabeel – Matakana, by Mastercraftsman) made the best possible start to a fresh campaign when winning the $40,000 Bayleys Bay of Plenty Rating 75 1200 metres on Saturday at Tauranga. 


Impressive winning three from four during her three-year-old season, having not raced at two, Puketiro had rounded off nicely behind the leaders when trialling on 29 August at Waipa, and trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson had her ready to go.

Allowed to find her feet by jockey Opie Bosson, Puketiro warmed into contention behind runners turning for home and speared through to win a competitive three-way finish.

On Soft5 footing, Puketiro ran 1200 metres in 1:12.4, last 600m in 35.4, and returned $3.10 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Bred by Christopher Grace QSM who shares in the ownership with his wife Susanna, I J & J F Cameron, D W Dalziell, A E Falloon, J R & L D Griffith, G Jones, J E & S J McKenzie, and B C & T D White, Grace is a well known identity in New Zealand farming and racing circles as a breeder of quality thoroughbreds.

“She’s a good progressive mare and he’s a great breeder Christopher Grace and so good to train for,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“He only breeds small numbers, but he’s always got a handy horse or two and this mare knows where the line is.”

Walker suggested the next assignment for Puketiro could be the $120,000 Spring Sprint (Gr. 3, 1400m) on the third day of the Hawkes Bay Carnival (Saturday 14 October) at Hastings. 

“She spelled well at Christopher’s place, is shaping as a sprinter/miler, and still has a bit to come in the coat so there’s more improvement to come.”

Through the deeds of Shillelagh (Savabeel), Precious Time (Stravinsky), Grazia (Savabeel), Dreamer (More Than Ready), Motivation (Mastercraftsman), Spirit Of Galway (Rip Van Winkle), Tauparae (Savabeel), and Invincibeel (Savabeel), Te Akau has built a long term relationship with horses either bred or owned by Grace, and Puketiro looks another stakes' performer in the making. 

Puketiro is a sister to Tauparae, and Invincibeel, mentioned above, with the latter purchased by David Ellis MNZM for $145,000, from draft of Little Avondale Stud, at the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale, and preparing for another campaign.  

The pedigree has a beautiful cross of legendary stallion Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor), on the sire line, as sire of Zabeel (Sir Tristram), and dam line of Matakana as sire of third dam sire Grosvenor (Sir Tristram). 

From a family that has proven to produce the real deal, Puketiro is by eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), from a young mare by successful sire Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer), who is also dam sire of Group One winner Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible). 

Her grand dam, Taitanium, by 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) winner and renowned sire Kingdom Bay (Otehi Bay), was an impressive five-time winner to 1600 metres and stakes placed at 2000 metres, who subsequently left four winners of 14 races including Wellington Cup (Gr. 2, 2400m) winner Graphic (Volksraad).

Puketiro was strapped by Tayla Melvin.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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