Karaka Premier Sale graduate Mission Critical (Fantastic Light x Trick Taker by Capote) produced a stunning all-the-way run to emerge the victor in the Group 1 Whakanui Stud International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Co-trainer and bloodstock agent, Paul Moroney, purchased Mission Critical at the 2006 Karaka Premier Sale from Haunui Farm for NZ$75,000. The Moroney stable recently had success with another son of the Darley sire, Fantastic Light (Rahy), thanks to Captain Fantastic who beat a class field of juveniles to win the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes on 19 January.
Moroney was active at the recent National Yearling Sales purchasing 25 lots for NZ$2,559,500 including his highest priced purchase of NZ$350,000 for the Zabeel x Foxy Blond filly from Cambridge Stud.
Still a colt, the three-year-old Mission Critical has now had seven starts for three wins and a second placing to amass $172,925 in prize-money. He is now headed for the Group 1 Mercedes Derby at Ellerslie on Saturday 1 March.
In winning he beat fellow Karaka graduate and outstanding performer, Sir Slick (Volkaraad x Miss Opera by Paris Opera). The winner of four Group 1 races, Sir Slick was purchased at the 2003 Select Sale for $48,000 by his trainer, Graeme Nicholson.
Ombre Rose (O'Reilly x Lady Chanele by Citidancer), the winner of the 2005-06 NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series, fought on well for third and her first Group 1 placing.
Entered in the Carnival Yearling Sale at Karaka on Friday 7 March are two yearlings by Fantastic Light. Lot 41 on account of Sir James Lodge is a chestnut filly from the Dayjur mare Duel at Daybreak while Lot 146, also a chestnut filly, is from the family of multiple Group 1 winner including the MRC Cox Plate, Red Anchor.