Make-or-break year for Bernardini

Cambridge filly Ruud Awakening proved she is one of the best of her sex to come out of New Zealand in recent years with an easy victory in the G1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.

Ruud Awakening (2f Bernardini – Dawn Almighty by Danehill) was coming off a rich result in the Karaka Millions and she was never headed at Ellerslie – scoring by more than two lengths from Bounding (Lonhro).

The runner-up is the only horse to have defeat Ruud Awakening – the latter’s sole loss in six starts was in the LR Murdoch Newell Stakes at Pukekohe in November.

Ruud Awakening is the first southern hemisphere Group 1 winner for Darley sire Bernardini and she was a $90,000 purchase for the Go Racing Syndicate from Westbury Stud’s draft at the 2012 NZB Karaka Premier Sale.  Her dam Dawn Almighty is a sister to Quintilla (dam of G2 winner Ruud Van Slaats) and a half-sister to Listed winner Chester County.  Dawn Almighty has a yearling full-sister to Ruud Awakening.

Bernardini (A.P. Indy) has built a strong reputation in North America and Europe with G1 winners Alpha, To Honor And Serve, Stay Thirsty, A.Z. Warrior and Biondetti in his first two crops.

The Australian – NZ axis hasn’t been as fruitful.  His oldest are autumn three year-olds and there have been 18 winners to date at a 22% strike-rate.

Bernardini (USA) has experienced a mixed sale season to date.  He had 3 lots average $67,000 at Gold Coast Magic Millions, 6 lots average $34,167 at the Inglis Classic Sale and 11 lots average $47,219 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier.

He will be represented by 8 yearlings at the Inglis Easter yearling sale which is set to commence on April 9.  It would fair to say 2013 is going to be a make-or-break year for Bernardini in Australia.