With just over a month until the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales, the benefits of buying in New Zealand were on show at Caulfield on Wednesday with five of the eight winners being graduates of the Karaka Sales.
Trainer Brent Stanley will take advantage of the summer off-season in a bid to build the profile of his Caulfield winner Cryptic Jewel.
Stanley has always felt the Savabeel mare, who was having her fifth start in Wednesday's Ladbrokes Plate (1440m), was above average but had been thwarted by immaturity, both mentally and physically.
The mare delivered on her promise under Craig Williams in racing to a 1-1/4 length win.
While believing Cryptic Jewel to be better than Saturday city grade, Stanley won't be rushed in aiming too high, too soon.
"I wanted to get this maiden out of the way then we'll go through the grades," he said.
"This time of year it gives mares of her ability the chance to string a few together and build a profile for later on.
Cryptic Jewel was well supported to start the $3.20 favourite and while Stanley was expecting the victory he didn't want to be over-confident.
"She was still growing into herself last campaign, a typical Savabeel mare, and she just took time to come right," Stanley said.
"But she did some good things in her first preparation for where she was mentally and she's come back this time and has been impressive every time she's been asked to do something.
"There's plenty of upside to her and hopefully there's a few more wins for her during the summer."
Cryptic Jewel was a NZ$300,000 purchase from the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales from the draft of Westbury Stud.
The colours of syndicator Wylie Dalziel were carried to victory by Royal Performance over 1440m in the opening race for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace. The son of Camelot, who was purchased for NZ$100,000 from the draft of Hallmark Stud, finished runner up in his only other start to date.
The David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Ocean Deep also sported Dalziel’s white and royal blue spots to win over 1440m and notch her third career win from seven starts. The daughter of Ocean Park was bought for NZ$65,000 from the draft of Waikato Stud.
Ex-pat Kiwis Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young sourced three-year-old colt Blinder from Karaka and the son of Snitzel lived up to his name when winning his second race from four starts.
A NZ$300,000 purchase from the Lyndhurst Farm draft at the Ready To Run Sale, Blinder relished the step-up to 1440m.
Rounding out the program was promising staying three-year-old Tavistock Dancer for Caulfield trainer Mick Price.
The son of Tavistock, who was bought by Price for NZ$260,000 from the draft of Cambridge Stud, made it two wins from two starts and the gelding looks a Classic prospect.
“He’s a typical New Zealand-bred staying type,” Price’s foreman Mick Nolan said.
“Before he trialed there was no big rap on him. He trialed and he was okay and then he went to Kilmore and won, which probably looked an ordinary maiden on paper, but his trackwork since has been excellent. He has improved out of sight.
“I was a bit worried about the track with the rail out, but he showed with a bit of class you can overcome some difficulties in life.
“A lot of those staying horses are dumb things early and they’re backward. It’s just like some footballers who don’t hit their peak until they’re 25.
“He’s got a nice future. When he gallops he has got a beautiful big flowing action, which is a good sign for a stayer.” – NZ Racing Desk