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Sakhee's Soldier Wins Gr1 New Zealand Stakes
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, European 2007 champion sprinter & NZ The Oaks Stud's Gr1-winning stallion Sakhee's Secret (Sakhee-Palace Street, by Secreto) celebrated a Gr1 success when 4YO gelding Sakhee's Soldier (Sakhee's Secret-Surreptitiously, by Machiavellian) survived a protest to score by a nose for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the NZ$200,000 Gr1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) for 3YO+, over 4YO mare Rising Romance (Ekraar-Post Romance, by Postponed) & fellow 4YO gelding Farm Boy (El Hermano-Lady of Oakview, by Diamond Express). This was Sakhee's Soldier's maiden Gr1 victory and took his record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Rich Hill Mile Handicap & Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes) and 5 placings from 15 starts for NZ$285,575 earnings. "He's just kept getting better and better and he's a very relaxed horse, a bit timid even," Baker told NZ Racing Desk. "He's still learning what it's all about." Sakhee's Soldier has made remarkable progress with six wins from his last seven starts and a trip to Sydney for The Championships is now a distinct possibility. "He's in the Doncaster and the Queen Elizabeth, but whether he's up to that standard I don't know," Baker said. "It was a brave effort today to beat Rising Romance, she's possibly the best staying mare in the country and maybe Australasia."