Whiskey ‘N Roses blooms with Ruakaka romp

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  • June 10, 2024
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Richard Edmunds, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Joanne Surgenor has always had a feeling that Whiskey ‘N Roses was well above average, and that feeling turned into fact in a spectacular final 400m of Saturday’s Storage Bream Bay 2YO (1200m) at Ruakaka.

Raced by breeders Peter and Sherin Walker in partnership with Haunui Farm, the Belardo gelding had finished second on debut at Matamata last month behind the blue-blooded Savabeel colt Magice. Those two faced off again for the second race of their careers on Saturday, and this time the result was emphatically reversed.

Magice and Whiskey ‘N Roses drew side by side in gates one and two, and they both stuck close to the rail as Top Dollar rolled forward to take up the early lead. Magice settled in a handy position in fourth, while Whiskey ‘N Roses drifted further back and had only three behind him coming down the side of the track.

Rider Vinnie Colgan angled Whiskey ‘N Roses off the rail with 600m remaining, and he surged forward and swooped up on the outside of the leading trio at the home turn.

From that point on, all eyes were on the flashy chestnut and his big white blaze. Whiskey ‘N Roses changed gears and charged clear, opening up a dominant winning margin of three and a quarter lengths.

I’m All In took second by a nose from a late-finishing Magice, who only made his way into clear air with less than 300m left to run.

Surgenor was delighted with her new stable star’s spectacular performance.

“When he changes gears, he’s got such a good turn of foot,” Surgenor said. “I was a little bit nervous when he was on the rail and quite a long way off them, but once Vinnie got him into the clear, I thought this was his time to shine and that’s what he did.

“I’m thrilled that he’s done that. He’s such a special horse and I think he’s got a very big future ahead of him. Oh my goodness, it’s so easy to get out of bed in the morning when you’ve got a horse like this.”

Whiskey ‘N Roses may return to Ruakaka for the $60,000 ITM/Gib Winter Championship 2YO Final (1200m) on July 13.

“We’ll see how he pulls up from this, but we could look at bringing him back here for the Winter Championship Finals,” Surgenor said. “We’ll see what happens. This was his first big trip away, he’s a homebred, but he’s handled everything so beautifully. He’s a very relaxed Belardo and lovely to do anything with.”

Further down the track, the TAB now rates Whiskey ‘N Roses a $14 chance for the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November. That market is headed by Move To Strike ($6), Super Photon and Yaldi (both $8).

Whiskey ‘N Roses continued a remarkable run of form for former Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Belardo, whose other recent winners include the stakes-winning two-year-olds Belardi and Southern Warrior, along with the weight-for-age Listed AGC Training Stakes (1200m) winner Belardo Boy.

Whiskey ‘N Roses is the first foal to race out of Fullinbloom – a half-sister to the Walkers’ multiple Group Two winner Showoroses, who was also trained by Surgenor.


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