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Lightning strikes twice as Rhaegar takes Futurity at Ellerslie

Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have trained two Karaka yearling purchases in the white, red and green colours of the Zame family, and both of them are now black-type winners.

The $65,000 Select Sale purchase Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj) won more than $2 million in a career that was headed by Group 1 glory in the Australian Derby (2400m), and on Saturday the $60,000 Book 2 buy Rhaegar (Pluck) took his first step along that black-type path in the $50,000 Listed Piazza d’Oro Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie.

Ridden by Michael McNab, Rhaegar settled into a smooth position in sixth position before angling to the outside in the straight and moving up alongside Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle).

He went clear inside the last 200 metres of the race, then fought off the late lunge from his stablemate Long Jack (So You Think) to win by a long head.

“I just steered him around today, it was a lovely win,” McNab said. “He felt really strong and was hard to pull up, so I think he’s got a lot of upside as he heads into his three-year-old season.”

Bart Zame, who was the spokesman for the Zame family during Jon Snow’s career and now fronts the Rhaegar Syndicate, was delighted with Saturday’s result.

“Murray and Andrew are true champions, they’re great blokes and we can’t thank them enough for this,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Baker and Forsman also won this race 12 months ago with the classy filly Peaceful (NZ) (Savabeel), who was a $260,000 purchase at Karaka.

Baker sees a bright future in front of Rhaegar.

“He’s always shown plenty, but he’d been a bit disappointing on raceday before today,” he said. “We’d been scratching our heads, because he’d shown plenty on the track.

“We put blinkers on him and took him to the trials last Monday, where he won from the back. It was a good win today and he looks like he might have a good future.”

Vendor Landsdowne Park Ltd
Purchaser Mr AC Forsman (Waikato)
Breeding Pluck – Grand Lady
Sale Lot 840, 2018 Karaka – Book 2, $60,000
Bred by Ramsey Pastoral Co Pty Ltd
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