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NZ$2.2m Colt Named Saperavi

Tuesday, 11th July 2006

New Zealand's highest-priced yearling of 2006 has been named Saperavi (Stravinsky-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel). Te Akau Stud principal David Ellis (who bought the colt for NZ$2.2 million at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka in January) explained Saperavi "is also a well-known widely-used grape from the Russian region" & the name "endeavours to bridge both sides of the colt's family." Ellis noted: "Of 9 names submitted by share-holders, 7 were available for registration at NZ Thoroughbred Racing. These were placed into a hat & the name Saperavi was drawn out at random." Saperavi was broken in at Matamata by Paul Pertab & joined Mark Walker's Matamata stable 3 weeks ago; he has been in the starting stalls & swimming pool at Matamata's training centre & will be given a "quiet jump-out trial over 400m" on the course proper this Thursday. Ellis confirmed: "After that he will go out for a spell & return to Mark's stable in time to trial in November-December. The plan is for him to race as a 2YO with a focus on the Gr1 juvenile races in NZ next autumn." Pencarrow Stud-bred Saperavi is a half-brother to 3-time Gr1 winner Darci Brahma (Danehill-Grand Echezeaux) who won the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton last November & Gr1 Otaki-Maori Weight-For-Age at Otaki in February from the Walker stable. Saperavi's sire Stravinsky (Nureyev-Fire The Groom, by Blushing Groom) is a Cambridge Stud-based Coolmore shuttler who produced this season's champion Australian 3YO filly Serenade Rose (Stravinsky-Rose Of Tralee, by Sadler's Wells) who won 3 times at Gr1 level this season (including the AJC Oaks in Sydney & VRC Oaks in Melbourne); & Saperavi's dam Grand Echezeaux (Zabeel-Richebourg, by Vice Regal) won the Gr1 Australasian Oaks & is a sister to Gr1 Hong Kong Cup winner Romanee Conti Sir Tristram-Richebourg) dam of Gr1 Caulfield-Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal.

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