Mon, 29 May 2017
The Iffraaj (GB) (Zafonic) train kept rolling in Australia this weekend with three-year-old Order Again (NZ) (Iffraaj) putting in a dogged performance to take out the Group Three BRC Grand Prix Stakes (2200m). Not surprisingly, that has seen Iffraaj’s book closed for the 2017 season with a full compliment of mares to visit him this spring.
Lightly raced but ultra-consistent, Order Again was jumping from the barriers on raceday for just the eighth time off the back of a runner-up performance in the Group Three BRC Rough Habit Plate (2000m) to Shocking Luck (NZ) (Shocking) who was part of the beaten brigade this weekend.
Four-time Group One winning trainer Brian Smith was happy with his charge leading into Saturday’s race and, rightly so. “He has come a long way in a short space of time and what I like about him is that he has got a turn of foot,” says Smith. “In his maiden he picked up a horse at the Sunshine Coast that was leading by eight lengths, he picked it up and spat it out, there was a massive margin to the third horse,” he said. “When they can break 34 seconds doing that and can stay, they tend to have a bit up their sleeve. Larry Cassidy is also quite excited, he has won three Derbies here in Brisbane before and he has ridden some great horses, he likes this bloke.”
Order Again is chasing an unprecedented third Derby victory in a season for his sire, Iffraaj and remarkably, the second for William Fell’s Goodwood Stud. Having already bred New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj), it would be the ultimate result for the young Manawatu stud master whose father, Rex Fell, passed away last year.
“Iffraaj has had an amazing year to date with two Derby winners and two Group One winners in Australia,” says Mark Chitty of Haunui Farm. “And we are delighted that William has had such a great season too. He and Rex have been big supporters of Iffraaj having taken a share when we first brought him to New Zealand ten years ago so, to have another genuine Derby contender is outstanding,” he said. “Hopefully Rex can pull some strings up there to get another Derby in a couple of weeks’ time!”
Iffraaj will be returning to Haunui Farm in 2017 for his tenth consecutive season and will serve a full book of mares.