Saturday summary: Orchestral digs deep to win Vinery Stud Stakes

12 min read
On a thrilling Saturday of racing, Orchestral (NZ) (Savabeel) triumphed on Australian turf by clinching the G1 Vinery Stud S. after a hard-fought battle at Rosehill. Over at Flemington, the seasoned 9-year-old Cascadian (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) etched his name in history by securing his second G1 Australian Cup victory.

Cover image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Race-Day Recap

New Zealand's star filly Orchestral (Savabeel) showed her elite class to prevail in the G1 Vinery Stud S.

Godolphin's popular campaigner Cascadian (New Approach) scored another G1 Australian Cup, making history becoming the first 9-year-old to salute since 1901.

Kalapour (War Command) justified trainer Kris Lees’ decision to run in the G1 Tancred S. rather than a Group 3 race earlier on the Rosehill program with a tenacious victory.

Belclare (Per Incanto) defended her title in the G1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders S. at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Progressive 3-year-old gelding Wymark (Savabeel) stamped his G1 Australian Derby claims with an impressive victory in the G2 Tulloch S. at Rosehill.

Another Wil (Street Boss) booked his Doncaster H. ticket with a dominant display in the G3 Doncaster H. Prelude.

Danny Williams' progressive 4-year-old gelding Bandi’s Boy (The Brothers War) won a competitive renewal of the G3 Star Kingdom S. (1200 metres) at Rosehill, in preparation for his grand final in the upcoming Country Championships.

Orchestral soars in Vinery

New Zealand’s star filly Orchestral (NZ) (Savabeel) got the job done in the G1 Vinery Stud S. at Rosehill on Saturday.

Arguably, the margin was shorter than many expected, with the Australian-trained representatives Tutta La Vita (The Autumn Sun) and Zardozi (Kingman {GB}) serving it up to the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained filly.

However, Champion Jockey and expat Kiwi James McDonald remained poised aboard Orchestral, as the Chris Waller-trained Tutta La Vita, ridden by Nash Rawiller, made a bold move before the turn, as the Godolphin filly, Zardozi, with ‘Aussie Tom’ (Marquand) stalked her every move.

It took the length of the Rosehill straight for Orchestral to beat off Zardozi before zoning in on Tutta La Vita, eventually getting a 0.70l margin on that filly.

Co-trainer Robert Wellwood debriefed with 7HorseRacing post-race, “My heart rate is still coming down. Tutta La Vita gave us a real fright there. She took off, and I thought she had gotten the break over us (Orchestral).

“Orchestral had to fight hard to win, but class does prevail.”

“Orchestral had to fight hard to win, but class does prevail.” - Robert Wellwood

Wellwood indicated there is no plan for whether Orchestral will contest the G1 ATC Oaks or the G1 Australian Derby, “Look, we will trot her up tomorrow (Sunday) and chat to the connections. We will decide after that. It was a great effort coming back from a Derby (G1 New Zealand Derby, 2400 metres) to the 2000 metres here (Rosehill).

“She’s a Group 1 winner on both sides of the Tasman now.”

McDonald added, “Orchestral had to have all the quality today (Saturday) because she was out on her feet, but like all the good ones they find.

“She’s very good. She gives you a weird feeling because you don’t realise how good she is until you’re off her. I haven’t had this much confidence going into a race since I was riding Anamoe. I thought Orchestral would win a bit easier, but she was a bit rusty - the fast ground wasn’t to her liking around the bend, and it was an overall slow run race. Stepping up in trip will help her.”

Orchestral (NZ) winning the G1 Vinery Stud S. | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Orchestral brings her record to six wins from nine starts. Alongside her G1 Vinery Stud S. success, she has also won the G1 New Zealand Derby, the G2 Avondale Guineas, and the R. Listed Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

The filly was a NZ$625,000 purchase by her trainers from the draft of Haunui Farm at the 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Sale.

It was a profitable hour for the James and Wellwood stable with their progressive stayer Mark Twain (NZ) (Shocking) storming to success in the Listed Roy Higgins S. at Flemington, securing a golden ticket into the G1 Melbourne Cup in November.

Cascadian makes history at Flemington

History was made on Saturday at Flemington when the popular Godolphin campaigner Cascadian (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) stormed down the straight to notch consecutive victories in the G1 Australian Cup.

The Group 1 2000-metre feature was billed as a showdown between the gun milers Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars) and Pride Of Jenni (Pride Of Dubai).

They were joined by an all-star cast, with the likes of Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel) and Legarto (NZ) (Proisir) also taking their place in the barriers.

As expected, the Ciaron Maher-trained Pride Of Jenni found the lead and looked to break her opposition’s hearts, as she had done in The All-Star Mile last start. Turning into the long Flemington straight, the daughter of Pride Of Dubai looked to have Mr Brightside and co. off the bit, struggling to reel her in.

However, there was one horse left, the tenacious mare had yet to burn off, and that was Cascadian, under Ben Melham. The gallant 9-year-old ate into the mare’s margin and had his head in front when they dipped their necks for the finish line.

Cascadian (GB) | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Officially, the margin recorded was 0.30l, with Chris Waller’s Atishu finishing third 2l away. They were followed by the G1 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare (Declaration Of War {USA}), who finished fourth from Mr Brightside (fifth) and Legarto (sixth).

Speaking to post-race, Melham said, “That was very special. Loyalty is a big thing in this game, and I’m very thankful to Godolphin for allowing me to continue my association with Cascadian and secure another Australian Cup on him.

“That was very special. Loyalty is a big thing in this game, and I’m very thankful to Godolphin for allowing me to continue my association with Cascadian and secure another Australian Cup on him.” - Ben Melham

“Take no credit away from the horse and the stable’s performance to get him here today (Saturday). If you could ever declare a horse off their pre-parade, he was it. Cascadian was bang on today (Saturday), and it worked out perfectly.

“Pride Of Jenni probably didn’t go as quickly as everybody expected, at least that’s how it felt to me from where we were positioned, and he is just so much better if he can pick and weave; when he does get out, he can just explode.

“I just love him. He’s one of my favourite horses.”

Cascadian (GB) with his strapper Camille Piantoni | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Cascadian becomes the first 9-year-old to win the G1 Australian Cup since Dreamland (Trenton {NZ}) saluted in 1901. He is also only the eighth horse to win the Australian Cup more than once.

The son of New Approach (Ire) has won four Group 1 races; in addition to his two Australian Cup successes, he has also secured victories in the G1 Doncaster H. over a mile and the 1400-metre G1 All-Aged S.

Kalapour digs deep for Gibbons and Lees

Despite returning to form a fortnight ago when second in the G3 Sky High S., it was still something of a surprise victory when Kalapour (Ire) (War Command {USA}) edged out victory in Saturday’s G1 Tancred S. (2400 metres) under a well-judged ride from Dylan Gibbons.

Sat just off the pace in a field made up exclusively of imports from Ireland, the UK and France, the Kris Lees-trained Kalapour held off the late challenge of More Felons (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) by 0.19l, whilst Ashrun (Fr) (Authorized {Ire}) followed them home a further 1.4l.

“(On) Wednesday I was umming and ahhing over which race to run in,” Lees admitted post-race. “Whether we ran him in the Group 1 which, to be fair, wasn’t looking like being a really strong Group 1, or give him one more run at 2000 metres… thankfully we’ve gone this way.”

Humbly concluding that “Dylan got the best out of him,” Lees was notching his 17th Group 1 winner, which was a second for his jockey, in a proud moment for the trainer, who for many years used the services of Gibbon’s father, Andrew.

Although not convinced yet that Kalapour is a two-miler, the trainer suggested the G1 Sydney Cup (3200 metres) may still be on the cards for Kalapour in two week’s time. Making his Australian debut less than a year ago after four runs in Ireland, Kalapour had been remarkably consistent, though he finished adrift when stretched to the G1 Melbourne Cup last November.

Dylan Gibbons with Kalapour (Ire) | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Bred and originally raced by The Aga Khan's Stud, Kalapour is now raced in a Lib Petagna-led partnership. Now a 7-year-old gelding, he is out of Kaladena (Ire) (Daylami {Ire}), a three-quarter sister to G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Kalanisi (Ire) (Doyoun {Ire}).

Already twice a victor at Group 3 level for his sire, War Command (USA), Kalapour becomes his fourth individual Group 1 winner. Beginning his stud career at Coolmore Ireland, War Command was latterly sold to Charley Lauffer's Earl Le Ticol farm in southern France in 2020.

Derby calling for Wymark?

The Michael Freedman-trained Wymark (NZ) (Savabeel) continued his fabulous form and extended his unbeaten run to four with a soft win in Saturday’s G2 Tulloch S.

Ridden by Tommy Berry, the son of Savabeel extended away from Noisy Boy (Real Steel {Jpn}) and Saltcoats (NZ) (Ardrossan) in the 2000-metre G1 Australian Derby lead-up.

Wymark began his preparation at Hawkesbury in December and broke his maiden at Newcastle in February. He returned to Newcastle in March to win in Class 1 company and then stepped out in town at Rosehill in a BM78, winning by 2.6l before Saturday’s Group 2 success.

The 3-year-old gelding is the 143rd stakes winner for Waikato Stud’s eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel. Wymark is from the unraced O’Reilly (NZ) mare Pasadena (NZ).

Freedman indicated he was likely to pay up the $40,000 late nomination fee for Wymark to be eligible to contest the G1 Australian Derby. He was a $200,000 purchase by Mick Wallace as agent for the Freedman Brothers from the draft of Sledmere Stud at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Wymark (NZ) | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Waikato Stud offered the full sister to Wymark at the 2024 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, where Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis CNZM (BAFNZ) secured her for NZ$80,000.

Belclare bolts in

It was comfortable viewing for the connections and backers of the Lisa Latta-trained Belclare (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}) in the G1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders S. at Ellerslie.

The 6-year-old mare was unplaced last start in the G1 Otaki-Maori Classic but found her best form to defend her title in Saturday’s race and bring her record to 11 wins from 36 starts, including two Group 1 victories.

Belclare, ridden by Sam Spratt, made visually easy work of the competitive field. Chasing gamely from the back of the pack were Town Cryer (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) and Blissful Belle (NZ) (Belardo {Ire}). Meanwhile, Fashion Shoot (NZ) (Savabeel) came from near last to secure fourth from the dual Group 1 winner Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh).

The 6-year-old was bred by D K Woodhouse, who has remained in the ownership alongside Rusties Syndicate and J Clark. Belclare is from the O’Reilly (NZ) mare Miss Rhythmic (NZ), who is from the family of the G1 VRC Oaks and G2 Wakeful S. victress Kirramosa (NZ) (Alamosa {NZ}).

Another Wil secures Doncaster spot

The Ciaron Maher-trained Another Wil (Street Boss {USA}) has gone from strength-to-strength this preparation. Beginning his campaign in a BM64 at Sandown-Hillside before wins at Caulfield (BM70) and Flemington in BM84 company. On Saturday, the lightly raced 4-year-old faced his stiffest test in the G3 Doncaster Prelude but handled the occasion with aplomb.

Ridden by Jamie Kah, Another Wil put a 2.30l margin between himself and Bandersnatch (Casino Prince), whilst Welwal (GB) (Shalaa {Ire}).

Another Wil is the 70th stakes winner for Darley’s Street Boss (USA). His dam, the dual-winning Bianconi (USA) mare Arohanui has produced the city-winning Wahine Toa (Dalakhani {Ire}) and Wil John (Reset), who won 10 races, including the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool.

Williams' Boy teed up for Country Championships

Danny Williams produced his progressive 4-year-old gelding Bandi’s Boy (The Brothers War {USA}) to win a competitive renewal of the G3 Star Kingdom S. (1200 metres) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Produced to perfection by Jay Ford, he relegated Malkovich (Choisir) into a 0.24l second, and left behind a field including the likes of Shinzo (Snitzel) and Hawaii Five Oh (I Am Invincible).

Following his victory in the Country Championships Qualifier at Moruya earlier this month, Bandi’s Boy is now three from four this year, with his latest effort pushing his prizemoney close to the half-million mark.

“We knew the horse would be very competitive at the weights,” Williams said. “He just keeps improving and lifting the bar and that’s going to bring him right on.

“He (Bandi's Boy) just keeps improving and lifting the bar and that’s going to bring him right on.” - Danny Williams

“It’s been a bit of a curse for us this race, so we just have to try to hold everything together. The horse will do very little all week,” the trainer added, as his team look forward to contesting the $1 million Country Championships final at Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships.

Bandi’s Boy is the second stakes winner and now the most successful progeny of his sire The Brothers War (USA), a stakes-winning 3-year-old in France in his own racing days who had three runs in North America before joining Kooringal Stud in 2015.

A homebred for Mr J R Woods, and now racing in partnership with the Coffey family, Bandi’s Boy is the only foal from the Hinchinbrook mare Tibidabo, a $1500 purchase at the 2013 Inglis Sydney Weanling and Broodmare Sale.

Per Incanto
Kris Lees
Another Wil
Street Boss
Bandi's Boy
Danny Williams