Bright Blue Sky – Stakes’ Win on Debut - Te Akau Racing
Sensible and professional, Bright Blue Sky (2 f Fastnet Rock – Blue Blue Sky, by Lonhro) made a winning debut in $70,000 Fasttrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (Listed, 1200m) at Counties Racing Club meeting on Saturday at Te Rapa.
Ridden by Opie Bosson, indentured to Te Akau, Bright Blue Sky had quickened to win very well when trialling on 4 November at Matamata, and the combination carried on the winning form.
Ideally drawn in barrier one, carrying 54.5kg, Bright Blue Sky mapped to trail Mascarinto (Per Incanto), a six-length debut winner in October at Matamata and after doing so, was able to slingshot the two leaders with an undeniable finish.
“I rode her in track work and didn’t want to miss out on the ride, so I said to Dave (Ellis) and Jamie (Richards) I’ll definitely do 54.5 kilos, and did it quite easily in the end,” said Bosson, who, at a similar stage, drew comparisons with former stable-mate and nine-time Group 1 winner Avantage (Fastnet Rock).
“She’s still learning and a little on and off the bit throughout the race, which can happen race day when they go quicker, but I liked the way she balanced up underneath me and really found the line with her ears back. She was really having a go.
“I popped off in the straight and she took a while to balance up, but once she did she changed leg and won well.”
Hotly sought after in betting, she shortened from $1.90 fixed odds to pay $1.40 on NZ TAB. Winning by two and a quarter lengths, Bright Blue Sky ran 1100 metres in slick time (1:03.8) on Dead4 footing.
“She hasn’t put a foot wrong all the way through and is a lovely filly that Dave (Ellis) bought on the Gold Coast with Andy Williams, and first time to the races, a stakes’ winner, so you can’t ask for much more,” said reigning Champion Trainer Jamie Richards.
“She was able to relax, breathe, on a good genuine tempo and build momentum. Sky’s the limit with her and we look forward to seeing where she’s going to end up. It was exciting, the way she was able to win.”
Winning a stakes’ race on debut is a rare feat, so to achieve with such a well bred and valuable filly makes the victory even sweeter for everyone involved.
Off to a flying start this season, Bright Blue Sky brought the tally of Te Akau’s stakes’ wins to 13 (nine NZ and four Oz), and occurred on the back of winning both the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and 2000 (Gr. 1, 1600m) during the recently completed Cup Week at Riccarton.
Bought in January at 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $600,000, from draft of Coolmore Stud, Bright Blue Sky is eligible for the $2 million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1200m) on Saturday 15 January at Gold Coast Turf Club – a race for sale graduates like the Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) at Ellerslie.
“You’ve really got to know what you’re doing to prepare a horse to win a stakes’ race at its first start,” Ellis said. “Jamie and Opie did it a couple of years ago when Aotea Lad, a Savabeel colt, won the Wakefield Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) at Trentham.
“It was a great effort by Opie to get his weight down for the ride (54.5kg). He’s such an important part of the team, not just on race day but in every other way, too, and congratulations to Jamie and all the team for getting these incredible results.
“It’s a big thrill for the owners of this filly. I bought her with Andy Williams (bloodstock agent) on the Gold Coast, and we’ve got a great group of owners involved.
“Nicole Shailer, an absolute champion, runs our Middle Barn at Matamata where the filly is stabled and the success out of that barn is just amazing.
“We’ll plan on giving her a week to 10 days in the paddock and all going well we will then send her to Queensland to prepare for the Magic Millions.
“Bright Blue Sky was bred by Coolmore Stud and any horse bred there has a big start in life. Coolmore bought Avantage when she retired and she’s in foal to Wootton Bassett, and they’re great people to do business with and probably the most successful breeders in the world.”
Bright Blue Sky is by multiple Champion Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill), standing at Coolmore, from a fabulous New Zealand family starting with dam-sire Lonhro (Octagonal/Zabeel/Sir Tristram). Lonhro (Octagonal) was Champion Three-Year-Old, Champion Miler, Australian Horse of the Year, and simply an outstanding Australian racehorse that won 11 Group 1 races.
Third top Australian Broodmare Sire in 2019-20, behind Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) and Encosta De Lago (Fairy King), Lonhro mares have left over 25 stakes’ winners.
Grand-dam Napa Sky (Stravinsky) is a half-sister to impressive Group winning mare La Sizeranne (Stravinsky), while another sister Sara Ann has left ATC Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) winner Tavago (Tavistock), and blood-sister Estelle Collection (Stravinsky) is dam of five-time Group 1 winning sprinter Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice).
The filly carries a Zabeel (Sir Tristram) cross on her dam-side, with third dam Tricia Ann (Zabeel) a three-quarter sister to Champion Sire Grosvenor (Sir Tristram). It is a tremendously versatile family that leaves high-quality racehorses and a dam-sire line responsible for generations of top performers in Australasia.
During the week just gone, Ellis was busy purchasing horses at NZB Ready to Run Sale, and is happy to report good early uptake of shares.
“We’ve had plenty of enquiries and shares are selling fast in some really nice horses,” he said. “We’ve put them up on our website, some are already fully sold and I expect by end of the week there will be few shares remaining.
“We’ve got a great team, great support from our owners, and when you train fillies like Bright Blue Sky to win a stakes’ race on debut it all becomes very satisfying.”
Bright Blue Sky was strapped by Nicole Shailer.