Te Akau principal David Ellis was hard at work at Karaka yesterday looking for, among others, a replacement for speed machine Xtravagant.

The dual group one winner has been sold to Australia's Newhaven Stud for $2.7 million.

Xtravagant was to have run in last week's group one Telegraph at Trentham, but after one of his final gallops he was found to have a throat problem.

"He has a respiratory entrapment in his throat, which is common and not overly serious," said Ellis yesterday. "John Kelly came over from Newhaven, inspected the horse and a deal was done during the week."


Ellis said Xtravagant will undergo minor laser surgery next week after which Newhaven will decide whether or not the stallion will be put back in work or retire to the stallion barn.

"But part of the deal is that he can only race from our Te Akau stable at Matamata."

Xtravagant won his two group ones by a collective 16.5 lengths and was the highest-rated New Zealand 3-year-old since Bonecrusher. He was the second-highest rated 3-year-old in Australasia.

"He's a lovely individual and will throw good, racy types," said Ellis. "Look what Burgundy has done with his first crop. Xtravagant will follow along those lines."

Ellis has Heroic Valour to represent Te Akau in the $250,000 New

Zealand Bloodstock Karaka 3YO Mile tomorrow.

"He is Fastnet Rock's first group one winner as a 2-year-old."

The other stable 3-year-old star, Hall Of Fame will run in the Waikato Guineas, Avondale Guineas then into the Derby.

"After Heroic Valour runs on Sunday we will make a decision whether he runs in the Derby or we keep him for 1400m and 1600m races here and in Australia."

Ellis said his main Karaka pursuit will be looking for colts like Heroic Valour, Hall Of Fame and Xtravagant, colts that will develop into stallion prospects.

"There has been a lot of interest from studs both here and in Australia to stand Heroic Valour and Hall Of Fame when they retire."