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Tokorangi Wins Waikato Guineas

“What a day to be alive,” said an owner, after Tokorangi (3 f Redwood – Agent Ziva, by Savabeel) won the $100,000 Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m) on Legends Day at Te Rapa.

Having sustained a big run from last to finish fourth in the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) on 16 January at Trentham, Tokorangi, who had been racing competitively against the best of her age and appeared to boast enough in bloodlines to get the trip, capitalized on a great ride by Andrew Calder to take out the time-honoured race.

After a sweet trip in midfield, Calder had Tokorangi angling clear early in the home straight and she was a class above her rivals when getting clear over the concluding stages.

“She’s got great owners,” said co-trainer Pam Gerard. “She’s shown a lot of promise and they’ve been waiting quite awhile. It has been a bit frustrating, but 2000 metres today and she showed what she can do.

“She wanted to run when racing as a two-year-old, but came back at three happy to drop the bit, and has produced some big performances in top races all season. She really deserved the win.”

The race serves as a lead-up to the NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) on 6 March at Ellerslie, won three times previously by Ballymore trained horses, including dual Horse of the Year Xcellent (Pentire), and after her victory Tokorangi tightened to $6.00 for the three-year-old staying classic.

Placed on the course when debuting as a two-year-old and again in Soliloquy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m), Tokorangi not only enhanced her track record but impressed Calder in the process.

“I’m very appreciative of the connections for leaving me on this filly,” Calder said. “She’s been unlucky a few times, but has a good share of ability. She was quiet before the start, able to use the gate (4) and got into a nice position.

“When I gave her a click down the back straight I knew I had a fair bit of ammo underneath me and once she got out she was pretty explosive. She put them away the last bit and was very impressive.”

On Dead4 footing, Tokorangi ran the 2000 metres in 2:03.2 and paid $7.10 & $1.90 on the NZ TAB tote.

Racing in the Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) winning colours carried by Sir Dragonet (Camelot), and owner Ozzie Kheir, Tokorangi is shared in ownership by Matthew Hamilton, James Harrison, Christopher Swadling, Michael Kerz, Maureen Allison, Glenice Dando (who bred the horse with her son, Casey), Dennis Ryan, Paul Magill, and Savvy Racing Steelers Syndicate (Mgr: Keith McDonald).

Race sponsor Joan Egan, a noted breeder with a racing team in great fettle, praised the breeders Glenice and Casey Dando, expressing how much it means to breed horses to win races like the Waikato Guineas.

Accepting on behalf of the owners, Keith McDonald said: “It’s great to be part of a massive day and thank you to Joan (Egan) and Legacy Lodge for your sponsorship.

“Hats off to Pam Gerard and the team at Ballymore (fifth win in the race), you all work tirelessly. It’s a relentless job and the win is a great boost for the stable.

“Thank you to Andrew Calder for a great ride. I said to someone before the race, “It’s his third ride on the filly and third time lucky”. And congratulations to all the owners, especially those at Savvy Racing, who have been with us since day one.”

Selected by Paul Moroney and bought as a yearling for $30,000 at the 2019 Karaka Book 2 Sale, from the draft of Bradbury Park. By Group One winning stallion Redwood (High Chaparral), she is the second foal from Agent Ziva, a young mare by six-time Champion sire Savabeel (Zabeel), who won five races from 1150m – 1230m, and grand-dam Bemuze (Centro) left four individual winners of 16 races including Regency Dragon (D’Cash) a winner of six in Hong Kong.

Tokorangi was strapped by Michael Thompson. 
[13 Feb 21]


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