More Than Ready milestone in New Zealand

Vinery shuttler More Than Ready sired his 100th stakes winner when Oak Park claimed the LR Rotorua Stakes (1400m) at Arawa Park on Saturday.

More Than Ready (Southern Halo) is in the midst of a stellar year.  His champion mare More Joyous captured the G1 Queen of the Turf, G1 Doncaster Mile and G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes during April and his USA based mare Hungry Island is being set for the G1 Just a Game Stakes (1600m) at Belmont on June 9.

More Than Ready’s progeny have earned more than $83 million.  Vinery will stand him for a $121,000 fee this year.

Oak Park (3f More Than Ready – Dawnie Dancer by Fasliyev) is trained by Murray Baker and he pulled the right rein with the filly on Saturday.  She was second emergency for the Rotorua Stakes and only made the field after scratchings.

“She was also entered for a three-year-old race and I thought we might have been feeding her to the lions in a stakes race,” assistant trainer Andrew Forsman said.  “But Murray went for black type and it all worked out.

“She just keeps taking that next step and might be a whole lot better than we’ve given her credit for.  She’s only 14 hands and she’s nothing to look it.  But she must have a pretty big heart because she always puts in.”

Oak Park is raced by Queensland pharmacist Michael Collins and will now likely be set for the Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) on June 23.