Mon, 11 December 2017
Not many two-year-olds can take the step up to Group company eight days after their first start and come out on top but that’s exactly what Haunui’s homebred filly Xpression (NZ) (Showcasing) did in the Group Two Wakefield Challenge Stakes on Saturday.
Lining up for just her second start under the care of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, Xpression jumped from the outside barrier in the Group Two contest and was settled at the rear of the field by in form jockey, Samantha Collett.
Race favourite Espumoso (NZ) (Pins) assumed the position of pacemaker and kicked clear turning for home but once Xpression got clear running, she was always going to make it a stiff contest and once on even terms, she drew clear over the last 100m to win by half-a-length. You can watch the replay by clicking here.
“I’m surprised they didn’t hear me cheering from our living room in Karaka,” said Haunui Farm’s Managing Director, Mark Chitty. “It’s pretty exciting to be racing a filly with her ability and to do what she did eight days after her first start was a big effort,” he said. “We bred this filly with a great mate of mine from Uni, Ian Renton, and we decided early on that we were going to keep and race her. We sold the mare but that doesn’t matter, we’ve got her Group Two winning daughter!”
Xpression is the second Wakefield Challenge stakes winner for her sire, following in the footsteps of Showboy (NZ) (Showcasing) who was Showcasing's first Group winner in the Southern Hemisphere. Her win has continued the roll for her sire Showcasing (GB) (Oasis Dream) who in the last three weeks has sired three stakes winners (Carnival, Truly Belong and Xpression) and two stakes performers with success in both New Zealand and Australia. He’s had two other very impressive two-year-old winners in She’s A Thief (NZ) (Showcasing) and Nirvana In Fire (NZ) (Showcasing) who both look to be Karaka Million bound and last season’s promising two-year-old filly Princess Rihanna (NZ) (Showcasing) has bounced back to form at three for a Group Three placing in the Gold Trail Stakes and an impressive win over the older horses at Ellerslie at the beginning of December.
With New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales Series just around the corner, the timing couldn’t be better for Showcasing and Haunui Farm to be in the limelight.
“We’re almost through a very busy breeding season with the stallions set to get back on the plane to head North next week and the focus has firmly shifted towards yearlings,” says Mark. “Sale ring success is obviously very important but the real test of success is on the racetrack and to have had four Group One winners and over 50 stakes performers off the farm in the last three years is pretty satisfying,” he said. “We’ve got a great client base who continue to support us year after year, we’ve got a great team of staff who put in the hard yards and, we’ve got two stallions that are doing a wonderful job at the moment so, we can’t ask for much more. Well, maybe another Karaka Million winner!”