Winning Australian debut for Amberite

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  • May 20, 2024
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NZ Racing Desk

Former New Zealander Amberite has made an immediate impression across the Tasman, landing an upset victory in his Australian debut in Saturday’s A$130,000 Murray Cox Handicap (1800m) at Flemington.

The son of Proisir had shown plenty of talent in his 17-start career in New Zealand, collecting two wins and five placings for Matamata trainer Vicki Prendergast.

He was a maiden winner by three and a half lengths at Matamata in August, then romped to a seven-length Rating 65 victory over 2100m at Tauranga in March – beating the subsequent Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2100m) winner Outovstock in the process.

Amberite was an overlooked $21 outsider for his Australian debut on Saturday, but he delivered a powerhouse performance in his first start for new trainer Matt Laurie.

The four-year-old settled nicely in fifth among a strung-out field, then strode forward boldly in the hands of jockey Daniel Stackhouse coming up to the home turn.

Amberite quickened and took the lead 350m from the finish, kicking clear down the straight to win by a length and a half from Go Racing’s late-finishing Irish import Mirzann.

“Matt is really chuffed to be able to train this horse,” stable representative Donna Spalding said. “This is his first start for the stable. Matt hasn’t been very well lately, but this will be a big boost.

“It’s great for the stable to have this horse. We’re very, very impressed with him, and we’ll see where he goes from here.”

From 18 starts, Amberite has now had three wins, five placings and A$152,320 in stakes. He is still raced by his New Zealand owners and carries the red and black striped colours of the Bayly family – best known for the likes of Blue Denim, Eagle Eye, Lion Tamer and Harris Tweed, all owned by the late Phil Bayly.

Amberite is one of six winners from six foals to race out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Elle, who is a half-sister to Group One winner Bonaria, along with stakes-winning mare Legally Bay, dam of Group One-winning sprinter and sire Merchant Navy.

Bred by the Pike family’s V T W Breeding Company, Amberite was offered by Hallmark Stud in Book 1 of Karaka 2021 and was bought for $120,000.


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