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Graphic keeping it in the family for Grace with Wellington Cup win

Christopher Grace’s first foray into racehorse ownership was a major success and half a century later he has celebrated another feature race win at Trentham with a descendant of his initial purchase.

The Hunterville breeder-owner bought Hakawai, a daughter of Le Filou, at the Trentham Sales as a potential foundation mare and she firstly proved to be an outstanding two-year-old. His current star Graphic is from her family and on Saturday the lightly-raced son of Volksraad triumphed in the Gr.2 Platinum Homes Wellington Cup at just his eighth raceday appearance.

“This is the second biggest thrill I’ve had as 50 years ago to this day I won the Wakefield Challenge Stakes with Hakawai,” said Grace, who races Graphic with his wife Susanna.

Trained by Michael Moroney and Chad Ormsby, Graphic has made rapid progress this preparation after posting his maiden victory at Te Aroha in the spring.
The five-year-old then added wins at Te Rapa and Awapuni before he trounced a smart field of stayers in the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

“He’s always given the impression that he wanted more time and more ground,” Ormsby said. “We couldn’t be happier.

“I said to Craig (Grylls) this is another step up for him and to ride him the same way – he won’t lie down and he takes it to them.”

Grylls did just that to cap a memorable day for the 23-year-old, who had earlier guided A Touch Of Ruby to Group One glory in the Harcourts Thorndon Mile.

He settled Graphic behind the leading pack on the fence and was into the clear to hit the front 200 metres from home. The gelding held off another effort from the pacemaker Skysoblue to take the thick end of the $200,000 purse.

NZ Racing Desk.

[26 Jan 14]

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