The jubilant connections of Chase Auckland celebrate his Northern Derby success. Photo: Trish Dunell.
The fairytale run continued for Chase Auckland’s large syndicate of owners when he won the $250,000 Woodlands Northern Derby at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
A huge group of excited connections were on hand to share in the celebrations post-race after the son of Auckland Reactor ran a New Zealand 3YO record 3.16.8 (1.57.3MR) in the 2700-metre event.
Co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen did the driving behind Chase Auckland, who virtually wrapped up Three Year Old of the Year honours with his third feature race win of the season.
“He always felt great tonight in the run, he was really with me,” said Rasmussen.
“The moment he got to the front he just felt like he wasn’t to get beat.”
The result was continued the dream season for the Alabar Racing Syndicate, which was put together by Alabar Stud to promote their sires, especially new stud Auckland Reactor.
Ivan Behrnes is the Syndicate Manager and was on hand to receive the trophy on behalf of the joyous group.
He said the win had a true New Zealand-wide flavor to it.
“There are owners here tonight from all over the place.
“Otago, Auckland, South Canterbury, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Thames, Pahiatua, even Australia.”
Behrnes, Alabar’s South Island rep, said it was nice to see Auckland Reactor stand up and be counted with his first crop.
“To see a new sire breaking the strangehold of Bettor’s Delight on feature races is very satisfying.”
The syndicate has just re-invested $50,000 of its Chase Auckland winnings in another yearling, to be trained by Cran Dalgety.
Alabar head Graeme Henley said it was a unanimous decision when the managers looked to distribute some of the $250,000 the horse had earned by the end of last year.
“We went to them and said do you want us to pay it all out, pay some out or buy another yearling and go again.
“To a man they agreed they wanted to go again and buy another yearling.”
The group originally purchased four horses, the other three going to Geoff Small, Nathan Williamson and Rasmussen/Mark Purdon.
The latter didn’t make the cut, Charlie Mach has moved from Small to Tony Herlihy and is spelling after winning prior to Christmas and Williamson’s filly is on the comeback trail after a throat operation.
The new addition is Beaudiene Hustler, a $50,000 colt by Alabar sire A Rocknroll Dance.
It was a Rasmussen/Purdon quinella in the time-honoured feature with Sicario fighting on bravely for second after taking the trail behind his stablemate two laps out for Purdon.
Sheriff, who was three back on the pegs and angled wider at the top of the straight, was a clear third for Blair Orange.