Te Rapa Double - Freeze Frame Fabulous

Date: 3 Dec 2023

Te Rapa Double - Freeze Frame Fabulous

Producing a whirlwind finish, Freeze Frame (4 g Vadamos – Snow Petal, by Bernadini) won fresh-up in the $40,000 Lodge Property Management Rating 75 1100 metres on Saturday at Te Rapa.

In the race following stable-mate Maracatu (Ardrossan) winning the Maiden 2YO 1100 metres, Freeze Frame produced a head-shaking performance.

Twice a winner over 1200 metres last season, and having rounded off nicely in a trial on 13 November at Waipa, Freeze Frame was dictated to get back from a wide draw (10) which in the end proved a blessing.

Chasing a frenetic pace set by Alice Tinker (Il Cavallo), Freeze Frame and jockey Sam Weatherley settled second last. Travelling comfortably, but standing the leader a good dozen lengths at the 600m and still 10 lengths astern on straightening, chances appeared dim with a wall of horses in front of him until a gap opened and he flashed late.

As performances go, it must register one of the biggest in recent times and augurs well for his campaign ahead.

“I was very happy in the run because I knew dad’s horse (Bea A Roca, second) would be pretty hard to beat, she’s got one good run in her, and, gee, he let down with a wicked turn of foot,” Weatherley said.

“I had to navigate a path and he was very strong late. It seemed his best races had been when he’d been ridden quiet and he’d finished off when he’d been left alone. 

“There was good speed on paper and it’s nice when it all works out. It was good to have the horse underneath me and I think, eventually, the further he goes the better he’ll be.”

After being flushed wide entering the straight, stable-mate Petrucci (I Am Invincible) also unleashed a strong finish for close fifth. 

On Good4 footing, Freeze Frame ran 1100 metres in 1:04.4, last 600m in 33.1 (approx.), and paid $7.70 & $2.70 on the NZ TAB tote.

“He had a nice long spell at Te Akau Stud, did very well, and although still not there yet in the coat but a very good first up effort to win like he did,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“He’s still got plenty of improvement to come, looks in for a nice season, and a really good patient ride of Sam Weatherley’s.”

Co-trainer Sam Bergerson added: “Fair play to Sam (Weatherley), who said he’d ride to have one crack at them and we thought the race mapped with a lot of speed.

“He was patient and luckily the gap opened one off the rail. It was a massive effort and he’s got plenty of improvement to come in the coat.  We’ve always thought he had a ton of ability, so this time in, a bit more mature and stronger, hopefully he’s in for a nice season.”

Purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM for $80,000 at the Karaka 2021 Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Rich Hill Stud, Freeze Frame is owned by Te Akau Frozen Fame Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM) and now won three of 11 starts including five seconds.

Dam Snow Petal has left three dual winners, including Group race performed Platinum Petals (Deep Field) and Platinum Road (Declaration of War), who have each won over 1600 metres. 

His sire, Vadamos (Monsun), was the Leading First Season Sire at the Karaka Yearling Sales in 2020. 

An internationally bred and performed racehorse, Vadamos is by the top-class stallion Monsun who has sired three Melbourne Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m) winners. 

Grand-dam Zirna (Deputy Governor) was a tremendous race mare that won the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) and went on to become Singapore Horse of the Year. In turn, she became a very good broodmare, leaving four-time winner and Group Two placed Crafty Irna (Starcraft), along with multiple winners Snitzel’s Goddess (Snitzel) and I’ve Gotta Feeling (Encosta de Lago). 

“He’s from a family that has left some very good horses and he showing to be one of them,” Ellis said.

“It was an enormous effort to resume with a performance like that and credit to Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson) to have him in perfect order to sprint so well first-up.

“He’s been effective finishing strongly over 1400 metres, too, so it will be interesting to see how he progresses this season over a bit more ground.” 

Freeze Frame is shared in ownership by Waikato Racing Club CEO Butch Castles, with wife Tess, while they also share in Maracatu who won the proceeding event, and their son Hunter actually bid on behalf of David Ellis when purchasing Freeze Frame at Karaka. 

Freeze Frame was strapped by Rasheed Alam.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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