Deerfield a gamble that keeps on giving

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  • November 09, 2022
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A punt taken on Deerfield as a younger proposition continues to pay dividends for the Bambry family with the promise of more to come from the durable nine-year-old.

The son of Falkirk has posted 13 wins from 50 appearances and has successfully mixed it at the top level with a Listed victory and third placings in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m).

Trained by part-owner Chrissy Bambry, Deerfield will have the opportunity to add to his record and healthy earnings of just over $350,000 when he runs in Saturday’s Gr.2 Gartshore Tauranga Stakes (1600m).

Deerfield was initially purchased at Karaka for $80,000 by Paul Chow’s Tartan Meadow Bloodstock out of the draft of Phoenix Park.

He was offered on behalf of breeders the Dennis brothers with the chestnut a member of their famous family, as his dam The Dazzler is a half-sister to the dual Group One winner The Jewel.

“We trained him for Paul Chow and he won four races before he hurt himself in behind one day at Otaki,” Bambry said.

“He had to have quite a lengthy period of rehab and we took a punt and bought him off Paul and turned him into a family horse.

“He had to have a pretty thorough rehab and was off the scene for a while. We always thought he had plenty of ability, but never imagined that he would go on to do what he has.

“He’s a bit of a day-to-day prospect ands gets a lot of physio and treatment. He’s a high maintenance horse and obviously worth it.”

Deerfield also thrives on competition and has become a creature of habit.

“He loves his routine and hates going out for a spell. He’s got a paddock he can go out in on the farm and a sand yard he’s happiest in. If you change the routine he lets you know he’s not happy,” Bambry said.

She is hoping for some give in the Tauranga track on Saturday for Deerfield, who will be partnered by Shaun McKay.

“There is a little bit of rain about and it would be nice if that came, although he has proved he can go on top of the ground,” she said.

“He’s more of a weight-for-age horse now as he gets hammered in the weights.”

Bambry also has high hopes for Deerfield’s younger stablemate Opawa Jack, who placed over 1600m at Woodville two runs back before he stepped out over a middle distance at Tauherenikau three days later to break his maiden on Sunday.

“He’s a lovely horse and still a bit green. The only reason I put him in was that I was worried it would rain at Woodville and he doesn’t like wet tracks,” she said.

“He pulled up so well that I thought we might as well back him up and he’s gone out for three weeks now. When he comes back, the plan is to get him on a path to the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m).”

Bambry will also have a number of representatives in action at Awapuni on Friday and singled out Sergio as a top chance in the open sprint.

“He has been going super and it’s obviously short of his best, but he turned in a good effort at Wellington,” she said. “He has come back well and I think we are in for an exciting prep with him.”

Sergio finished fourth at his most recent raceday appearance and the son of Swiss Ace has since been kept up to the mark with a trial win at Foxton.

Stablemate Bellacontte will also be in action and following a last-start third at Hastings, Bambry is hoping the Burgundy mare can continue to make the most her remaining racing opportunities.

“She will have another run and she has been scanned in foal to Almanzor so we’ve a few more months with her and would really like to see her make some more progress,” she said.

The four-year-old is a four-time winner, including successes in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes (1200m). – NZ Racing Desk.

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