Saperavi sires first winner in New Zealand

Darci Brahma is on the cusp of a stellar career at stud and his half-brother Saperavi basked in that reflected glory with a winner of his own in New Zealand on Thursday.

Saperavi stands at Willow Glen in South Canterbury and his first winner arrived when Emily Trimbole upstaged her rivals on debut in the Gardens New World Hcp (1100m) at Wingatui.

Settling last after a slow getaway, Emily Trimbole lengthened in the straight and raced straight past odds-on favourite Keen Affair to win running away. A big, leggy filly, she is trained locally by Noel Graham and will be winning more races for her large syndicate of owners.

Emily Trimbole (2f Saperavi – Greta’s Way by Wallenda) is just the second runner from her sire’s first crop conceived at Mike and Barbara Cooney’s South Island nursery.

Saperavi became the second son of Stravinsky to open his account in as many days. Swettenham Stud’s G1 winner Soldier’s Tale had moved off the mark when Fine Copper scored in Perth on Wednesday.

Saperavi didn’t get the chance to contest a Group 1 – his only success in four starts came in an Ashburton maiden in August 2007. “But believe me, he could really gallop,” trainer Mark Walker recalled. “He followed up with a Listed placing behind Hold It Harvey and I gave him a genuine chance in that year’s Two Thousand Guineas.

“We had high hopes but he came down with a serious leg infection and that was the end of the line. He’s a quite different type to Darci Brahma being a less precocious type and much rangier.”

They are both out of G1 Australasian Oaks winner Grand Echezeaux (Zabeel). His dam is a three-quarter sister to G1 Hong Kong International Cup winner Romanee Conti (Sir Tristram) who found further fame as the dam of Melbourne Cup wining mare Ethereal.

Grand Echezeaux is also the dam of this season’s gun three year-old Burgundy (Redoute’s Choice). He is a Listed winner at Ellerslie and Riccarton and is being set for the G3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes at Te Rapa on April 28.