Von Hauke comes of age in Shaftesbury Avenue

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  • March 11, 2024
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NZ Racing Desk

Promising New Zealand-bred Von Hauke took his career to new heights with his first black-type victory in Saturday’s A$200,000 Gr.3 Furphy Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m) at Flemington.


The Savabeel gelding had made only one previous appearance in stakes company, finishing fifth in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) over the same course and distance back in October.


But the four-year-old had caught the eye with a strong finish in his resuming run over 1100m at Caulfield on February 24, giving trainer Cliff Brown the confidence to raise the bar on Saturday. Von Hauke rose to the occasion with an impressive come-from-behind win.


Von Hauke was ridden by Craig Williams, who settled him in fourth among a small field of just six. The hot favourite Amenable enjoyed a comfortable time in front and looked hard to catch when he kicked at the home turn, but Williams unleashed Von Hauke down the centre of the track and he clawed his way up alongside Amenable and pipped him in a tight finish.


“This race ended up being a small, select field,” Williams said. “It was my first ride on the horse, but Cliff’s instructions were simple – just ride him and don’t dig him up. He has had a tendency to over-race and take control of the rider.


“They put the right amount of work into him and he travelled sweetly for me and then responded nicely in the straight. On the strength of that performance, they’re going to have a lot of fun with this horse.”


From 11 starts, Von Hauke has now recorded three wins and five placings, earning A$268,075 for his owners Brave Pastoral Co Pty Ltd and Imperial Racing Stable.


“He’s a lovely horse,” Brown said. “Today was significant because he showed that he can relax.


“He ran over 1100m last time, he learned a lot there and his sectionals were incredible. He was thrown in at the deep end today, but we did that for a reason and 1400m was a good distance for him second-up.


“We’ll probably go to a mile next. I think he’s a horse with good upside.”


Von Hauke became the 144th individual stakes winner for champion Waikato Stud stallion Savabeel, who has had a big week with the heroics of Orchestral in last Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and Certainly in the Gr.3 Mufhasa Stakes (1400m).


Von Hauke was bred by Waikato Stud and is out of the O’Reilly mare Tiara, who is a granddaughter of the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Royal Tiara. Von Hauke is now the best of three winners from four foals to race from Tiara, who produced a Super Seth colt in 2021, a Tivaci filly in 2022 and a Tivaci colt last spring.


Offered by Stonehouse Thoroughbreds at the 2021 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, Von Hauke was bought by Cliff Brown Racing for A$190,000.

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