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Karaka Weanling Sale graduate Sousa showed utter contempt for his 11 rivals at Randwick on Saturday, winning the Group 1 AJC Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) by a staggering six lengths.
In the hands of Corey Brown for trainer Peter Snowden, the New Zealand bred son of Galileo drew away after the turn to provide Sheikh Mohammed's Australian racing empire with its first Group 1 winner since the acquisition of Woodlands Stud. Predatory Pricer (Street Cry) and Excelltastic (Exceed and Excel) filled the minor placings.
Bred by Ruakaka-based Lars Pearson, the colt was purchased by Mark and Shelley Treweek's Lyndhurst Farm at the 2006 National Weanling Sale for NZ$150,000 from Curraghmore Stud, setting a new record price for a weanling at that Sale.
A colt by High Chaparral from Sousa's dam Liberty Song (by Last Tycoon) will be offered at the upcoming NZB Ready to Run Sale on account of Rich Hill Stud.
Sousa was racing off the back of his first stakes win in the Group 3 Newcastle JC Spring Stakes (1600m) on 17 September, and has now recorded three wins from his six career starts for A$398,100 in prizemoney. He will now head towards the Group 1 AAMI VRC Derby (2500m) on Saturday 1 November at Flemington.
The last two runnings of the VRC Derby have been won by Kiwi-breds with subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Efficient (Zabeel) in 2006 and last year's winner Kibbutz (Golan). Only two horses have won the Spring Champion Stakes and the VRC Derby, being Nothin Leica Dane in 1995 and Stylish Century in 1989.
The win also provided Sousa's Coolmore Stud sire Galileo (Sadler's Wells) with his first Southern Hemisphere Group 1 success. In the Northern Hemisphere, he's sired nine other Group 1 winners and will be represented by his last Southern Hemisphere crop at next year's yearling sales.
Meanwhile further south at Flemington, fellow NZB graduate Master O'Reilly (O'Reilly x Without Remorse by Bakharoff) ran an impressive Group 1 second in the VRC Patinack Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Coming from near last he made ground to finish just in arrears of Littorio (Bellotto x Our Centessa by Centaine). The winner of last year's Caulfield Cup, Master O'Reilly, finished ahead of six other Group 1 winners including the outstanding Weekend Hustler.
Master O'Reilly was purchased at the 2004 South Island Sale by Liam Sutcliffe Holdings for NZ$70,000 from Paritai Stud.
Also a runner up at Flemington was Swick (O'Reilly x Crème Anglaise by Crested Wave) who came second to El Cambio in the Group 2 VRC Gilgai Stakes (1200m). With five wins and nine placings to his name he's now won A$745,200 in prizemoney.
He was a NZ$100,000 purchase at the 2003 Karaka Premier Sale by Bart Cummings from Waikato Stud. A half-brother by Scaredee Cat is entered in the upcoming NZB Ready to Run Sale on 18 & 19 November.