Racing: Sargent has choice of two for feature

By Tayler Strong

John Sargent. Photo / Christine Cornege
John Sargent. Photo / Christine Cornege

A quartet of Perth owners and Matamata trainer John Sargent are in line to have two representatives in the Karaka Million for 2-year-olds at Ellerslie on January 29.

Geoffrey Burgess, Robert Edwards, Kelda Jones and Garry Wright are in the ownership of Choice Bro and Deakes, both trained by Sargent. Brad Spicer, of Victoria is an additional owner of Deakes.

Choice Bro won at Ellerslie yesterday when having his second start. Deakes was successful at Wingatui on Monday.

The field for the Karaka Million is decided on the basis of stakes earned by yearlings sold at the NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sales.

"They [the owners] have been buyers at the sales and liked the atmosphere of the Karaka Million," Sargent said. "But to buy two horses and get them in the race is just unreal."

Sargent said both horses would go straight into the Karaka Million.

The purchases were made at the select session of the sale on the advice of Gary Mudgway. Both horses were bred in Australia.

Choice Bro, offered by Ainsley Downs Stud has earned $8900, in stakes and Deakes, $7450.

Deakes, sold by Oxford Thoroughbreds, finished second in his other start at Riccarton. Choice Bro finished second to Irish Rebel (an $800,000 yearling) at Awapuni.

Choice Bro, a colt by Choisir from Laddi, was a $50,000 buy.

Deakes, who cost $60,000 is from the first crop of Shaft, who won the Silver Slipper in Sydney. He is the third foal of his dam, who has left Uate, a 2-year-old winner at Newcastle.

Sell In May is the top qualifier for the Karaka Million with the equivalent of $55,888 from her win at Flemington on December 10 in her only start. She is trained there by John Sadler. The daughter of Starcraft-Savannah Rain fetched $100,000 at the premier sale.

* Final Touch completed a notable double by winning the $45,000 Timaru Cup yesterday, two days after success in the Berkley Stud Stakes at Wingatui.

The 4-year-old mare, owned by Karen Parsons, the trainer with her husband John, gave the stable a fifth Timaru Cup win and jockey Kylie Williams, her fourth.

"I thought it was a really good ride by Kylie today as Final Touch drew out a bit and the hardest horses to beat were drawn inside her," Karen Parsons said. Final Touch will now target the $200,000 Thorndon Handicap (1660m) at Trentham on January 28.

- NZ Herald

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