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Karaka Select Sale graduate The Travelling Man (NZ) burst into Blue Diamond contention yesterday at Caulfield as he ran his opposition into the ground in the Listed MRC Blue Diamond Preview (1000m).
Trained by Matt Laurie, The Travelling Man (Mossman x Gypsy Jewels) showed good speed from the gate and quickly settled in the lead for jockey Ben Melham. Looking comfortable in transit and entering the straight, Melham asked the two-year-old to quicken and the turn-of-foot was immediate, running clear of his opposition to win by one-and-a-quarter-lengths.
He is the first New Zealand bred horse to ever win the Blue Diamond Preview since its inception in 1982.
In just the colt's second start, the son of Mossman showed plenty of promise on debut when running fourth on the same track in early October in the Listed Debutants Stakes over 1000 metres.
"We always thought he would be good enough to contest a race like this," commented Laurie. "He was a bit green on debut but today he raced like he trialled and really put it all together."
In a quick time, The Travelling Man ran the 1000 metre trip in 57.50 seconds and the last 600 metres in 33.64 seconds. The time was faster than last year's race which was run in 57.67 seconds, which of course was won by the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper winner, the four time Group 1 winner Sepoy (Elusive Quality).
Bred by Gerry Harvey, The Travelling Man was purchased by his trainer Matt Laurie from Westbury Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2011 Karaka Select Sale for $80,000.
With a draft of 115 yearlings at Karaka 2012, Westbury Stud
http://www.nzb.co.nz/sales/sale.cfm?ped_search=lot&search=Westbury+Stud&sale_id=159 will offer a half-sister to The Travelling Man by Cecconi at Lot 1255 http://www.nzb.co.nz/sales/pedigree.cfm?sale_id=161&lot=1255 at the Karaka Festival Sale.
Some of the highlights of the Westbury Stud draft at Karaka 2012 include two entries by More Than Ready from Danehill mares (Lots 304 http://www.nzb.co.nz/sales/pedigree.cfm?sale_id=159&lot=304
and 308 http://www.nzb.co.nz/sales/pedigree.cfm?sale_id=159&lot=308). The More Than Ready/Danehill nick is proving potent and has produced three Group 1 winners in Benicio, Dreamaway and New Zealand's Champion First Season Sire Perfectly Ready.
Some other highlights from Westbury Stud's Karaka 2012 draft include:
Lot 77 http://www.nzb.co.nz/sales/pedigree.cfm?sale_id=159&lot=77, the colt by Redoute's Choice from the Group 2 winning mare Bellini Rose (Faltaat), the family of Ethereal (Rhythm) and Darci Brahma (Danehill).
http://www.nzb.co.nz/sales/pedigree.cfm?sale_id=159&lot=426, the half-brother to the dual stakes winner Military Grace (General Nediym) by first season sire Henrythenavigator.
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