Karaka graduate Surprise Baby (NZ) (Shocking) has stepped up to the big time in style, winning Monday’s A$400,000 Group 2 TAB Adelaide Cup (3200m) with a spectacular breakthrough performance.
Passed in at Karaka at both the 2016 Select Sale and Ready to Run Sale, the four-year-old was later bought for $5,500 on Gavelhouse.com.
Monday’s Adelaide Cup was just the sixth start of his career, having won three out of his previous five, and he was stepping up to stakes level for the first time.
His performance was nothing short of outstanding, swooping out of midfield to challenge for the lead early in the run home. He asserted his superiority in the last 200 metres, surging clear and winning easily by a length and three-quarters with Dean Holland in the saddle.
Top of the Range (NZ) (Savabeel), a $250,000 purchase at the 2015 Premier Sale at Karaka, made up a significant amount of ground in the closing stages to take second place in a Kiwi-dominated finish.
Surprise Baby has now had six starts for four wins and $320,060 in prize-money. His reserves at Karaka were only $20,000 (Select Sale) and $35,000 (Ready to Run Sale). He is trained by Paul Preusker for owners Mr M J Fiteni and Ms K M Stewart.
“He’s just so young the horse and still learning,” Holland said. “I had a great run and gee he was strong to the line – I was never going to get beat from the 800 (metres).”
Preusker is excited about the lightly raced stayer’s future.
“I love this horse, he’s got a sharp turn of foot, and very tough,” he said. “I sort of thought we might try and qualify him for a Cup early – that’s definitely what I was looking at and it’s nice to get it.”
|Vendor||Rich Hill Stud|
|Breeding||Shocking – Bula Baby|
|Sale||Lot 746, 2016 Select Sale, Psd (Res $20,000) Lot 91, 2016 Ready to Run Sale, Psd (Res $35,000)|
|Bred by||Rich Hill Thoroughbreds Ltd|