Racing at Taupo yesterday has for the second time this season seen Pencarrow Stud and Pencarrow Racing take the spotlight with Banchee and Burgundy both winning their respective races.
Opening the account for Pencarrow Racing was the 2009/10 Champion New Zealand Two-Year-Old Banchee (NZ) (Oratorio x Miss Jessie Jay) who has made the best possible start to the new season.
Coming into the race off the back of two solid trials, the last of which she won in Cambridge in late September, Banchee and jockey James McDonald brought that winning form into yesterday’s contest. The 1400 metre race saw the four-year-old come from off the pace, and in an impressive fresh-up display, she took the lead in the straight and held her one-length margin to the line.
A Group 1 winner of the Auckland Diamond Stakes at two, and the Karaka 3YO Mile winner last season, Banchee has her sights on further black-type this season with a nomination for the Group 2 7th Coupland’s Bakery Mile.
Her trainer John Sargent has also indicated that the Group 1 Myer Classic in Melbourne is also on the radar, stating that the big Flemington straight will be right up her alley as it gives her time to wind up and produce her big finishing sprint.
Bred by Peter and Philip Vela, Burgundy (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice x Grand Echezeaux), a $1.3 million purchase by David Ellis from Pencarrow Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2010 Karaka Premier Sale, was again the feature runner of the Taupo meeting and, to the punters delight, he did not disappoint.
After impressively winning his race debut at the same track last month for trainer Jason Bridgman, Burgundy put in a performance that has seen his New Zealand 2000 Guineas odds slashed to $4, making him the equal favourite for the race with last season’s champion two-year-old Anabandana.
Jumping to the lead in the 1400 metre contest, James McDonald enjoyed an armchair ride on the heavily backed favourite as he took the field into the straight and, in a hands and heals ride, the son of Redoute’s Choice effortlessly strode out to the line to win by three-and-a-half lengths.
A three-quarter-brother to the hugely promising young sire Darci Brahma, Burgundy is now unbeaten in two starts, and will be looking to become the second Group 1 winner from the Group 1 winning Zabeel mare Grand Echezeaux, as he also holds a nomination for the Group 1 Levin Classic.