The Pink Group 1 Perfect - Te Akau 1st Four

Date: 14 Nov 2021

The Pink Group 1 Perfect - Te Akau 1st Four


In Milan Park colours of part-owner and breeder Tony Rider, The Perfect Pink (3 f Savabeel - The Solitaire, by O'Reilly) paved way for a Te Akau first four in $300,000 Barneswood Farm NZ 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) on Saturday at Riccarton.

Representing a formidable ownership group, The Perfect Pink not only brought ideal form but is also out of mare that impressed winning course/distance and from 1000 Guineas producing family.

Her dam, The Solitaire (O'Reilly) (10 wins, 1200m - 2400m), won twice over 1600 metres at Riccarton, including the Valachi Downs Breeders' Stakes (Listed, 1600m), and three-quarter sister The Jewel (O'Reilly) was a 1000 Guineas winner and was named Champion Three-Year-Old, proving not only ‘horses for courses' but also progeny for courses, too.

The Perfect Pink first emerged as a Guineas' type filly when she was eye-catching late winning the NZB Pearl Series Maiden Fillies & Mares 1300 metres on 22 September at Cambridge (poly-track).  She cemented the fact closing strongly for fourth, posting the fastest 600m (34.1), to stable-mate Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) in the Soliloquy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) on 23 October at Matamata.

The Soliloquy Stakes' form played out strongly, with The Perfect Pink defeating recent Riccarton winning stable-mate Shepherd's Delight (Rip Van Winkle), third placed Belle En Rouge (Burgundy), who finished second in the Soliloquy, and Imperatriz in fourth.



While saddling first four home in a 1000 Guineas is thought to be history making, trainer Jamie Richards also celebrated his 50thGroup 1 victory, and provided the stable with another notable Group One double after Noverre (Savabeel) romped home in 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) a week earlier.

“It's been a whirlwind last five or six years for a young fella that grew up in Dunedin,” said Richards (31), who, in 2015, recorded his first Group One victory in partnership with Stephen Autridge when Xtravagant (Pentire) won the 2000 Guineas.

“It's a big thrill and I've got a lot of people to thank for the position I've been able to uphold. It's not just about me, but the amazing staff and owners and everyone involved at Te Akau.”

It was the second time Te Akau had achieved a Guineas' double, after Risque (Darci Brahma) and Xtravagant (Pentire) in 2015, and The Perfect Pink became its sixth 1000 Guineas winner, following Kahma Lass (Darci Brahma) last year, and previously with Risque, Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago), King's Rose (Redoute's Choice), and Insouciant (Keeper).

It became the 13thGuineas victory for Te Akau in last 18 years, and also a notable feat for Waikato Stud stallion and six-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel) for his progeny to win both 1000 and 2000 Guineas this season.

Initially, outside draws for The Perfect Pink (12) and Imperatriz (14) appeared concerning, but downgrading conditions to Slow7 after rain, and better footing centre track and wider, meant they proved advantageous.



For Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson, who also won 2000 Guineas aboard Noverre, the victory was his fourth 1000 Guineas success and 85th Group One for the NZ record holder.

Unflustered despite not receiving the softest of trips, Bosson had The Perfect Pink levelling at the 200m and drove home best of all in a close three-way finish.

Paying $6.10 & $2.20 on NZ TAB tote, The Perfect Pink ran 1600 metres in 1:38.2, with Bosson saying: “It's an amazing feeling and she's a nice filly. We thought this race could be a target, even as a two-year-old we thought she could be a 1000 Guineas filly.

“I got a bit of a rough trip and had to make a long run from the 600m, but planned in the back of my mind to get to the outside and get into better ground because she doesn't really like it rain-affected.

“I knew I had Savabeel on my side and it kicked in. Jamie (Richards) is a gun trainer and we've had a great association over the last few years, so full credit to him, he deserves it.”

Richards added: “We've always liked her (The Perfect Pink), but needed time to mature. We weren't originally going to bring her down here, but thrilled that we did. I thought she was the one to beat on good ground and luckily she's been able to do it on soft ground as well.

“The horses all went really well and it's a credit to the staff and everybody involved with the stable to turn them out on the big days in such good shape.”



Out of Maiden grade on the course only three weeks earlier, Shepherd's Delight produced a tremendous result finishing second for the Hawkins family, owner/breeders at Wentwood Grange, and similarly for third placed Belle En Rouge owners Te Akau Beautiful in Red Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis) and breeders David Ellis CNZM & Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM.

From the illustrious Dennis brothers' family, The Perfect Pink was bred by Tony, Kevin, Martin, & Ray Dennis, and Tony Rider (Milan Park), who share ownership with Grant Bennett, Steven Christopher, and Craig Lawrence.

“A big thank you to Tony Rider and Grant Bennett and the Dennis boys, down there (Woodlands), for the opportunity to train her and she's got it all in front of her this filly,” Richards said.

Adding to the royal bloodline of The Perfect Pink, her second dam is The Dazzler (Centaine), and third dam, 2003 NZ Broodmare of the Year, The Grin (Grosvenor).

“I'm lost for words, but what a fantastic result for all our owners sharing the first four in the 1000 Guineas,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM. “We had three of the first four when Embellish won the 2000 Guineas and first four earlier this year when On the Bubbles won the Karaka Million, but what an amazing feat.

“I'm thrilled that Jamie (Richards) was able to get his 50th Group One in such a prestigious and time-honoured race, and for Tony Rider, the Dennis brothers, and their team of owners it's a special thrill and privilege to have got this win for them.

“For all our team, at the stables and here at the farm, it's another big result for their tireless work and I'm very proud of them all. These horses are so well trained and looked after and despite some rain they just got through it.”

Leading up to the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale next week (17 & 18 Nov.), to have such results during Cup Week could not have arrived a better time, and already the record-breaking stable from last season has notched its 12thstakes win this term.

“After the New Zealand Cup Carnival, our attentions turn to the Ready to Run Sale,” Ellis said. “We've done more homework this year than we've ever done and we'll be trying to buy some really nice horses.

“If anyone wants to be involved they can give me a call. Even if they don't have a horse with Te Akau, they are more than welcome to enquire about any horses they're interested in.”

The Perfect Pink was strapped by Shane McCann.


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