Racing success depends on making the right calls and Savanna Amour’s brilliant win in the Group Two Angus Armansco Stakes at Caulfield can be attributed to an inspired call from Ontrack Thoroughbreds CEO Grant Morgan.
Savanna Amour was sent south to Victoria by Eagle Farm trainers John and Chris Meagher to tackle the black type opportunities over the late summer/autumn and the mission was partially achieved with a third placing in the Group Three Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield on February 11.
The filly was entered for the Group Three Typhoon Tracey Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night and the Angus Armansco Stakes on the Saturday, with the Moonee Valley the preferred option until a twist of fate.
The Typhoon Tracey looked a softer race but all the calculations had to be rethought after champion Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira became available for Saturday’s Caulfield feature.
“Ontrack had an unbeaten association with Joao Moreira due to his three Group winning rides on our champion colt Brazen Beau.
“It was too good a chance to let slip by so we worked out a plan to accept for both Moonee Valley and Caufield and make a choice on the race to contest once both sets of fields were out.
“The decision was made for us when Savanna Amour drew barrier 12 at Moonee Valley and four at Caufield and the rest is history,” said Grant Morgan.
A typical Joao Moreira ride saw Savanna Amour lob straight into a perfect position and after peeling out to seek the lead turning for home she was brave to the line to win by a half head from West Australian filly Ellicazoom.
“Having the services of Joao proved the vital ingredient in achieving our goal of a black type win.
“He really is a truly world class rider with perfect balance, an uncanny ability to work out tactics and the rare skill of getting horses to keep sticking their head out ahead of the opposition without bashing them with the whip.
“Savanna Amour is a lovely filly who always gives her best and I’m certain she responded to Joao’s kind hands when the pressure came on at Caufield,” said Grant Morgan.
A $100,000 purchase from the 2015 Inglis Classic Sale, Savanna Amour is from the five times winning Stravinsky mare Savanna La Mer and has now won three times and been placed twice from only eight starts. Her earnings total $244,500.
“She really is a lovely filly and we are blessed that Grant and Ontrack has supported the stable with some lovely horses," said John Meagher.
“The trip south has been great for her and with a Group Two win and a Group Three placing she will be an extremely valuable filly. A nice break will do her the world of good and the experience she gains from the trip means she will furnish into a lovely winter carnival prospect,” said John Meagher.
Congratulations to the winning connections of Savanna Amour: Dennis Bates, Laraine Blades, FRF Racing, Haimes Racing, Peter Hanan, Bob Harvey, Rob Hill, Paul Kitching, Bill and Glenys Knobel, Phil and Anne Leonard, Danny Lesjak, Paul McGavin, Dave Moretti, Barry Muller, Mark Ostermeyer, Darren Smeath, Dennis and Colleen Walker, Dale Watts.