Our Nkwazi produced a major upset for Mornington breeder Graeme Gathercole at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The veteran gelding stormed down the outside as a $31 longshot to win the United Refrigeration Hcp (1000m) in a close finish from Solsay, African Pulse and odds-on favourite Lord Of The Sky.
Our Nkwazi (8g Arazi – Nkwazi by Rory’s Jester) won races at Echuca, Mildura and Mornington in the season just gone and this term’s opener took his record to 8 wins in 42 starts. He has a 2yo half-brother named Our Statue (Choisir) and a yearling half-sister by Bel Esprit.
Winning sire Arazi was pensioned from stud duties at Independent Stallions, aged 23, after getting just one mare in foal in 2011.
Arazi (USA) was bred in Kentucky and began his career with an unbeaten juvenile campaign in France winning the G1 Prix de la Salamandre, G1 Prix de la Salamandre and G1 Grand Criterium.
He returned to Kentucky to claim the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by five lengths at Churchill Downs for owners Allen Paulson and Sheikh Mohammed. He earned the North American 2YO Eclipse Award and was also voted 1991 European Horse of the Year.
Arazi (Blushing Groom) lost his perfect record when unplaced as a short-priced favourite in the 1992 Kentucky Derby won by Lil E Tee. Later that year, he bowed out with a four length victory in the G2 Prix du Rond Point at Longchamp.
Sheikh Mohammed stood him at Dalham Stud in England and at Three Chimneys in Kentucky. He was also based in Japan and Switzerland before making a final move to Victoria in 2003.
The best of his 11 stakes was five-time Group 1 winner Congaree who has carved out a successful stud career in New York. He is also the damsire of Melbourne Cup hero and Swettenham Stud shuttler Americain.
Gathercole operates Graebar Park on the peninsula and has bred numerous city winners – many by Eliza Park International stallions – including stakes winning sprinter Bel Price (Bel Esprit).