Viadana (NZ) has fulfilled her Group 1 potential with a scything finish to win the Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie.
The Matamata mare was tagged a Group 1 winner of the future by jockey Mark du Plessis after a dominant victory in an Ellerslie Group 3 last December and she responded in style on Saturday. “She travelled beautifully but got held up a bit,” du Plessis said. “Patience is the key – she’s always showed a lot of class.”
Viadana (4m Towkay – Yeah Nah by Kinjite) was originally aimed at the G1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes until trainer Lance Noble decided to wait an extra week. “It’s just the ultimate and what you get up for in the mornings,” Noble said. “It’s a huge win for a fantastic group of owners and a lot of them have been clients for a long time.”
Viadana is raced by the Easdon Racing Syndicate which is managed by Noble’s wife Leigh. She oversees the administrative side of the couple’s thoroughbred business and took out a syndicator’s licence in 2008.
The Travis Stakes is now on the agenda after Viadana split runners in the straight to defeat Postmans Daughter (Postponed) and Our Famous Eve (Fast ‘N’ Famous) in an all-mares trifecta.
Viadana was a $25,000 buy for Noble from Little Avondale Stud’s draft at the 2009 NZB Select yearling sale. Her dam Yeah Nah is a half-sister to G2 Waikato Gold Cup winner Singing Star (Danasinga).
Towkay (Last Tycoon) stands at Little Avondale for a $5,000 fee alongside Nadeem (Redoute’s Choice) and Per Incanto (Street Cry). His stock are popular with Hong Kong owners and trainers and, overall, he has sired 185 individual winners of 580 races at a 58% strike-rate.
Viadana brought up a running double for Towkay in Auckland. Earlier in the day, his lightly-raced Te Awamutu mare Lok’n’Kay won the Sistema Hcp (1600m).