Australians Lope to global success

Rubira (green colours) wins the Champagne Stakes at Pukekohe Park

Australian bred Rubira (green colours) wins the Champagne Stakes at Pukekohe Park (photo: Trish Dunell)


Another Australian-bred 2YO has plundered the New Zealand juvenile races with classy filly, Rubira (Lope De Vega), capturing the Listed Diamond Lodge Champagne Stakes over 1600m at Pukekohe Park on Saturday.

This adds to the Australian bred success of Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner, Avantage (Fastnet Rock) and Group Two Matamata Breeders’ Stakes winner Spanish Whisper (Lope De Vega) over the past two months in the shaky isles.

Trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Rubira was having just her third outing at Pukekohe and, despite getting unbalanced after a bump at the start, the filly flew home to score by a length.

“Stepping up to the mile was always going to be the go for her,” jockey Danielle Johnson points out.

“What she is doing now she is doing on ability alone, so once she has a break and strengthens up, she could be very smart.”

Forsman, also a part-owner of the youngster, concurs: “Rubira is a filly we have always held in high regard and she is going to make a lovely 3YO.”

Bred at Attunga for Japan-based Australian Eric Lucas – and one of 38 stakes winners for Lope de Vega – who struck a black type double on Saturday after Mizlecki won the Listed Sheila Gwynne Classic in Perth – Rubira was sold for $36,000 through the Attunga Stud draft at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.

“She was a lovely type, a real loose walker and I always thought she’d get over ground,” Attunga Stud’s Brian Nutt explains.

“Both Murray and Andrew are such great trainers of stayers, so I suggested Andrew have a real good look at her. She’s a classic filly in the making.”

Attunga Stud graduates are having a good run of late and include last month’s South African stakes winner, Sir Frenchie, $600,000 Provincial Championships Final winning mare, Serene Miss, plus the multiple Group-placed 2YO, Spin.

Meanwhile, Australian-breds also took centre stage at Kranji on Sunday with the Cliff Brown trained, Mister Yeoh, producing a withering burst to win the Singapore Group Two 3YO Classic over 1400m.

Bred (and still owned) by Victoria’s Nick Turnbull, Mister Yeoh is the second stakes winner for Fastnet Rock stallion, Wanted, who now stands at Clear Mountain Fairview in Queensland.

Originally racing in Australia where he had two unplaced outings for Jim Conlan, the 3YO Mister Yeoh has found a new lease of life in Singapore, compiling two wins from three starts for Brown.

Mister Yeoh is one of four winners for the winning Scenic mare, Wai Lin, a daughter of the dual Group One winning filly Miss Pennymoney, that was raced by Turnbull in the late 90s, and a close relation to Golden Slipper winner, Merlene.

“Mister Yeoh’s a lovely horse and Michael Rodd gave him a 10-out-of-10 ride,” Brown points out.
“He’s owned by a very good friend of mine, Nick Turnbull and he was very unlucky in his run at Caulfield, so we decided to bring him up to Singapore and it looks like we will have a bit of fun with him.”

Mister Yeoh joins a lengthy list of Australian-breds to win black type in Singapore this season, including Faaltless, Twickenham, Secret Win, Clarton Super, Elite Excalibur and Aramco, who won the Rocket Man Sprint earlier this month.

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