The New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds has been a great source for Flemington trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra and they are hoping to strike more success with sale graduate Age of Chivalry this weekend.
The son of He's Remarkable was purchased by Henry Plumptre out of Curraghmore's 2017 draft for $50,000 and he will have his second tilt at Group One glory when he contests the A$500,000 Gr.1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield today, for which he is $7 equal favourite with fellow Kiwi-breds Night's Watch and Princess Jenni.
The four-year-old gelding has pleased his connections since his last start runner-up performance in the Gr.1 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and win, lose, or draw he will head to the spelling paddock after his weekend assignment.
"He's in good order," Zahra said. "He has had three weeks in between runs. We have just been ticking him over and working him over a bit more ground, just so he can relax over the mile. He has always shown us a lot. We have looked after him and he'll head out to the paddock after Saturday. We will bring him back for a nice autumn campaign."
Ellerton and Zahra were underbidders on Age of Chivalry, but Zahra said everything worked out well after he approached Plumptre after the sale.
"I went over and saw Henry and had a chat with him and he put our name in the hat and we ended up getting him to train, so it was a win-win.
"We didn't have to syndicate him and we got some really good clients out of it. They are really good owners and are happy with the job we are doing."
The Flemington conditioners have experienced success with a number of graduates from New Zealand Bloodstock's Ready to Run Sale, particularly with Group One performer Odeon who has recently returned to the stable.
"It is a sale that we really target," Zahra said.
"It's a sale we enjoy going to and we will be back again next month.
"We gave Odeon a nice spell, he had 12 weeks off. He has never had a good spell in three years, so we were conscious of giving him a decent break.
"If he can come up, there's Perth available if he shows us he is back to his best."
While Age Of Chivalry and Odeon have been quality performers for the Ellerton and Zahra stable, there have been plenty of other top-flight graduates of the sale, which has provided the winners of 19 Group One races and 140 Stakes races in the last six seasons.
Multiple Group One winners Mongolian Khan, Turn Me Loose, Gingernuts and Beat The Clock are all graduates of Australasia's leading breeze-up sale, while Te Akau Shark was purchased for $230,000 by Te Akau principal David Ellis.
Te Akau Shark is on a path towards the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) after his narrow-margin defeat to fellow New Zealand Bloodstock graduate Kolding in the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick last week.
Recent Gr.2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) winner The Holy One is a $160,000 graduate of the sale for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and the son of Tavistock looms as a Derby prospect in autumn.
Meanwhile, Surprise Baby, who failed to meet a $35,000 reserve through Rich Hill Stud's 2016 Ready To Run Sale draft, has shortened to a $9 equal favourite for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) after his heroics in the Gr.3 Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington last Saturday.
The 2019 edition of the Ready to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds will be held at Karaka on November 20 and 21, with 414 two-year-olds to go under the hammer.
- NZ Racing Desk