Group 1 Champions Mile to Floydeboy

Monday 16 April 2007, 6:47PM

By Infonews Editor



Karaka Festival Sale graduate, Floydeboy (Mellifont x Fleche D'or) took out the final Group 1 event on New Zealand's domestic racing calendar this season, the NZ$200,000 First Sovereign Trust Champions Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The seven-year-old finished a neck ahead of Dezigna (Volksraad x Label Basher) in the time-honoured event formally known as the Easter Handicap. The lightly tried Mark Walker trained mare Polish Princess (Polish Precedent x Repeat Warning) finished one-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.

Bred by Karamu Land Co, Floydeboy was a NZ$16,000 purchase by Bernie McDonald at the 2001 Karaka Festival Sale from Paramount Lodge. The win takes the Bernie Dyke-trained galloper to NZ$314,925 in career earnings from nine firsts, 13 seconds and eight third placings. His other Group success came ahead of subsequent Group 1 winners Mikki Street and Sir Slick in the Group 3 Marton JC Metric Mile in September last year.

The soft track played to the gelding's advantage with jockey Mark Hills commenting after the race, "We knew once we had rain earlier in the week that we were in with a chance."

Connections of Dezigna were happy with his run, with trainers Vanessa and Wayne Hillis aiming him towards his next assignment, the S$3million Singapore International Cup on 20 May.

Earlier in the day, Cathy Franich's 2006 Karaka Premier Sale purchase Valpolicella (Red Ransom x Riesling) burst onto the scene, taking out the Listed Network Visuals Champagne Stakes (1600m) in style. Roping in the run-away leader Jacob (Shinko King x My City Girl), who looked to have an unassailable lead earlier in the straight, Gavin McKeon and the speedy filly crossed the line with two-and-three-quarters of a length to spare. The Murray Baker trained Kibbutz (Golan x Misskap) was third.

Roger James trains Valpolicella for a group of owners including Franich, who paid NZ$150,000 for the filly from Haunui Stud.

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