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Trelawney chasing further black type honours
17 Aug 2018

Ruqqaya with Grunt's younger brother who is in the Cambridge stable of Stephen Marsh

Trelawney Stud is well-represented in feature events on both sides of the Tasman this weekend with the potential Melbourne spring carnival star Grunt (O’Reilly) leading the way. The Mick Price-trained entire will make his four-year-old debut in Saturday’s Gr.2 Sir John Monash P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield.

The lightly-raced Grunt has won three of his four starts, culminating in his autumn victory in the Gr.1 Australian Guineas at Flemington. With a view to life after racing, the G1 Cox Plate is the dream target race to significantly boost his stallion profile. “Grunt was a lightish Kiwi sort of autumn three-year-old,” Price said. “He had a lovely break after the Australian Guineas and he's a magnificent four-year-old now.”

A $220,000 Karaka purchase, Grunt is a son of Ruqqaya (Van Nistelrooy) who won two minor events before finding fame in the broodmare paddock. All three of her foals to race have been winners with King’s Man (Iffraaj) and Addison (Jimmy Choux) both having claimed three apiece.

“Grunt’s our flagbearer at the moment and with regard to Ruqqaya, I’m still working through that and haven’t tied up a stallion for her at this stage,” Trelawney’s Brent Taylor said. “She’s currently in foal to Tivaci and Sacred Falls is a possibility for her. I’ve yet to look at all the other new stallions though.”

Ruqqaya is a daughter of Sayyida (Zabeel) and is a half-sister to the multiple Group One winner and former New Zealand Horse of the Year Ocean Park (Thorn Park {AUS}), now resident at Waikato Stud and also a graduate of Trelawney. Her third dam Benazir (Vice Regal) is a half-sister to O’Reilly’s Gr.1 Golden Slipper-winning mother Courtza (Pompeii Court).

On the domestic front, Trelawney will have graduates vying for Group Two honours in the Lisa Chittick Memorial Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa. The in-form Vinevale (Flying Spur), former Singapore Horse of the Year War Affair (O’Reilly) and Francaletta (High Chaparral) will all be in action.

Vinevale races in the Trelawney colours and has won her last three on the bounce, but Taylor said she would need a reasonable surface to be competitive. “Her form is fantastic, but with no disrespect to the opposition it hasn’t been up to the quality she’ll face on Saturday. We’d obviously like to get some black type and we’ll probably decide in the next week or so whether she goes to stud or races on.”

A half-sister to the Listed European winner Asset (Marju), Francaletta was bought out of Trelawney’s 2014 Sydney Easter Yearling Sale consignment for A$65,000 while War Affair was a $70,000 purchase out of their 2102 draft to Karaka. “War Affair is just a lovely horse and we had the pleasure of him holidaying here after he came back from Singapore,” Taylor said. “He’s got a great nature and I saw him a couple of days ago and he looks magnificent.”

Meanwhile several of Trelawney’s former race mares have been retired to stud.

“Fashion Sense will be going to Exceed And Excel, Smashing will go to Sebring and L’Acclamation will go to Exceed And Excel,” Taylor said.

By Redoute’s Choice, Fashion Sense won once from a handful of starts while Smashing (Pins) won six times and was stakes placed. L’Acclamation (Acclamation) was successful three times in Europe. -TDN AusNZ