Cambridge young guns active at Karaka

Funny Face, purchased by Kyle Marshall for $12,000. photo: NZB Standardbred

NZB Standardbred’s inaugural yearling sale at Karaka last Monday was a highly competitive affair, but a pair of Cambridge youngsters were not to be outdone.

Cambridge Raceway trainer-driver Kyle Marshall acquired three yearlings for a total spend of $64,500, while reigning New Zealand Junior Driver Championship winner Alicia Harrison went to $16,000 to secure a Bettor’s Delight filly.

Marshall, who is in his first season of training, was delighted with his purchases. He was particularly pleased to secure Funny Face, the Peak filly out of seven win mare I Got Rhythm, a daughter of four-time Group One-winning mare Allegro Agitato. 

Marshall has a close association with the family and was surprised when the auctioneer’s gavel fell to his $12,000 bid.

“I have got a couple out of Allegro Agitato that I’m training,” Marshall said.

“I really like them both and I used to drive I Got Rhythm. I’ve had a bit to do with the family and she’s well bred. The Peaks are going well and she just looked like a well put together filly, I couldn’t fault her.

“I thought she was a bit of a bargain. I was quite surprised that we picked her up for what we did, but time will tell.”

Marshall later went on to purchase Rocco Maguire, the Bettor’s Delight gelding out of unraced Christian Cullen mare Zenola Starbuck, for $32,500.

“The Bettor’s Delight gelding is a showy type, but he’s got a bit of growing to do,” Marshall said.

“He’s a full-brother to a couple that go quite well in Australia. Being a Bettor’s Delight, he’s well worth it (the price).

“He was gelded as a foal because he had a hernia, but that didn’t really worry me that he wasn’t a colt.”

Marshall was also pleased to secure Imelda May, the Art Major filly out of Group Three-winning mare Rozelski, for $20,000.

“She’s just a small filly, but we knew the mare (Rozelski) could run and she was quite small,” Marshall said.

“She’s well-bred, the dam was just unfortunate to meet Adore Me, otherwise she would have probably won something like an Oaks.”

Imelda May is named after the Irish singer-songwriter and Marshall was delighted to receive a message on social media from the musician after the sale.

“That was quite cool,” he said. “Breckon Farms shared the post (about the sale) and she saw it on Twitter. We are just in the process of getting in contact with her again and trying to get her involved possibly.”

Marshall said he is looking forward to breaking in the yearlings himself and is hoping his previous success at the sales continues with his latest acquisitions.

“I’ll break them in myself,” he said. “I like to break them in and spend a bit of time with them.

“We bought Alta Leonie (Otaki Cup winner, for $7,000) from the sales and I bought another mare from the May Sale called Unmissuble for $400 and she went on to win about $15,000.”

Meanwhile, fellow Cambridge Raceway local Alicia Harrison backed her judgment at the sale last Monday and went to $16,000 to secure Shirley Bassey, the Bettor’s Delight full-sister to Group One performer I Have A Dream.

“I went through the catalogue and I really liked her pedigree,” Harrison said. “The mare had been consistent, all of them (offspring) have won a race and been sold to Australia.

“When I got to Karaka I went and had a look at her and I couldn’t really fault her from what I knew. I just thought she was a nice type, I really liked her.”

With the sale average at an all-time high of $46,750, Harrison appears to have picked up a bargain with her filly.

“I hope she turns into a bargain,” she said. “On paper it seems like she is, considering Bettor’s Delight’s stud fee is $25,000. But it all depends on how she ends up being as a racehorse.”

Harrison has already begun the process of breaking-in her filly and she is pleased with what she has seen so far.

“I started breaking her in a couple of days ago,” she said. “She has been really good so far. I’m really excited to get a cart on her and see how she goes.

“I just bought her for myself. It’s a lot of money, but it’s what I wanted to do and hopefully I’ll be able to at least recuperate the money and have a bit of fun in the meantime.” – Cambridge Raceway


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