Martial Art Crushes Maiden Field

Martial Art (Tiger Hill x Kwan, by Sadler’s Wells) placed a big and bold DERBY stamp beside his name today when crushing a 1400m maiden field by five and three-quarter lengths in the Taranaki.

Coming off a barnstorming third behind fellow Pencarrow Stud bred Star Jasmine (Encosta De Lago) last start on debut, Martial Art was not surprisingly made favourite by New Zealand punters and delivered comfortably on the track rated a Slow 8.

Though his time of 1.17.96 was hampered by the track, the ease of his performance was startling with 13 lengths between the three-year-old and third place-getter Tuffinup (Scaredee Cat).

Trained by Mark Walker, Martial Art is eligible for the $200,000 Karaka 3YO Mile at Ellerslie on 31 January with the race looking ideal as a stepping stone to the Group 1 NZ Derby held in March.

Martial Art is by Darley’s shuttle stallion Tiger Hill (Danehill) who surfaced in Australia after impressive results with his European crops which included German Derby winner Iota and Group 1 Gran Criterium winner Konigstiger who is bred on the same Tiger Hill/Sadler’s Wells cross as Martial Art.

Martial Art is raced by a syndicate which includes Peter and Philip Vela, Mark Wyborn and Trevor Farmer who have tasted previous success with Pencarrow bred Noble Manor.

The derby contender is the first winner for his dam Kwan, a daughter of the illustrious Sadler’s Wells and a half-sister to three stakes winners including Group 1 Ascot Fillies Mile winner Fairy Heights (Fairy King).

Kwan foaled a bay filly by Reset this spring and visits, like Tiger Hill, another Group 1 producing son of Danehill in Keeper.