Atacama Scores on Big Night at Ellerslie

On a night that is quickly becoming one of the most talked about race meetings in the country, Atacama registered win number two from her four career starts in the $30,000 The Oaks Stud Mile at the Twilight Karaka Million meeting at Ellerslie.

Ridden by James McDonald who was back in the country to ride Gobi Ranger in the $1 Million (Res.L) Karaka Million last night, Atacama (Pentire x Almaviva, by Catbird) was given a lovely run on the fence and burst through the field with two hundred metres to run to win with authority by two lengths.

The win provided Atacama with her second win from only four starts and yesterday’s victory indicated she could be destined for bigger things, with the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) firmly on the radar for trainer Shaun Ritchie.

“She’s by Pentire from a stout New Zealand family and The Oaks looks the logical target,” commented Shaun Ritchie. “I’ll talk to Peter and Philip [Vela] in the coming days and just map out the best way to get there, but the Sunline Vase could be an option considering she’s now a winner at Ellerslie.”

“It’s obviously very important to aim for black type with these type of fillies, as winning The Oaks stays in the pedigree for 50 years and as a trainer it’s remembered for a long time,” Ritchie stated.

Bred and raced by Pencarrow Stud, Atacama is out of the unraced mare Almaviva who has already left Precisely (Align) the winner of two races in Singapore for champion trainer Laurie Laxon.

Almaviva is out of Pavan (Centaine) who ran second in both the Group 1 New Zealand and Australasian Oaks. It is also the family of the Listed Warstep Stakes winner Felenic (Cape Cross) and stakes performer Let Loushe (Black Minnaloushe).

Almaviva produced a bay filly by Tavistock in 2012 and visited the hugely promising Waikato Stud based stallion Savabeel.

Pencarrow Stud will offer a half-brother by Alamosa at Karaka 2013 which gets under way today with the Premier Sale. Catalogued as Lot 453 the Alamosa colt will be one of four entries for Pencarrow Stud in the Karaka Select Sale which will starts on Wednesday.