Orchestral heads to paddock after top campaign

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  • April 16, 2024
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Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Orchestral has returned to New Zealand after a sensational campaign, which culminated in a bold effort for third in last Saturday’s Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

The highly-talented daughter of Savabeel took the three-year-old ranks by storm through the summer period, with a stunning winning performance in the $1.5 million Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m), which was emulated in both the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m, and the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).

In her highly-anticipated Australian debut, Orchestral delivered a fifth-straight win in the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), and certainly lost no admirers in her season grand final when finishing a length off Autumn Angel in the Australian Oaks.

Trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood were pleased to see her return to their Cambridge base in good order ahead of a well-deserved spell.

“She’s really well. She got back from Australia late last night (Sunday), and seems to have pulled up nicely,” Wellwood said.

“Nearing the end of her preparation, she just had to go to a number of grand finals, and it was hard to peak again last Saturday.

“She’s off to the paddock now, we haven’t made any firm plans for the spring but we’re very excited for her next season.”

Orchestral accumulated much of her A$1.99 million in stakes during the past four months, and Wellwood identified the Karaka Millions victory as a definite highlight.

“The Karaka Millions was right up there, to see her put a nice field away over a mile is when we knew we really had something special,” he said.

“For her to then back that up in the Guineas, the Derby and the Vinery was great.”

Kingsclere Stables will now shift their focus back to home soil, as they line up six runners at Rotorua on Wednesday.

Among their runners is Monsoon Knight, the lightly-tried son of Vadamos finishing second behind Orchestral in his sole juvenile start, and had a tough resuming run for fifth after 10 months away from the races.

“He unfortunately hasn’t had a lot of luck, he had a very hard run at Tauranga, and then the races were called off at Ellerslie when he travelled up there,” Wellwood said.

“He’s finally drawn a reasonable gate (6), but we just hope the track is still in okay order by that stage of the day. He’s probably not a horse that wants it too wet, so hopefully the weather in the next few days means that it should be okay.”

Masa Hashizume is booked to ride the three-year-old, while Ryan Elliot will partner trial winner Tempsford in the Entain – NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1230m), and Craig Grylls takes the reins aboard Hasstobereel in the Sherlock Contracting 3YO 1560.

“Tempsford trialled really well at Cambridge and has continued to work well since then, hopefully she can get a soft run on Wednesday but whether 1200m is her optimal distance, I don’t know,” Wellwood said.

“Hastobereel is certainly going to be suited on a track with a bit of give out of it. His trial was good, and he’s an honest customer so I think he’ll run well.”

The stable will also prepare debutant Noble Master in the Arawa Park Hotel 2YO 1150, while Aladdin Sane and Ilimitado contest the Have Your Function At Arawa Park 1400 later on the card.


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