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.
Champion jockey Joao Moreira is unbeaten in Ontrack’s all gold silks and he may get the chance to extend that winning run in Melbourne next weekend.
Joao is Hong Kong’s superstar jockey and he burst on to the Australian scene with three wins on Ontrack’s champion sprinting colt Brazen Beau, including the Group One Coolmore Stakes and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap.
The global sensation is returning to ride in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield next Saturday and when Grant Morgan from Ontrack was approached about Joao riding Savanna Amour in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes on the same day he was very keen to explore the opportunity.
“We were considering the Armanasco on the Saturday or the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy at Moonee Valley on the Friday when I was contacted by Joao's Australian agent. Given we are having problems securing a rider for Moonee Valley we have booked Joao for Caulfield.
“The plan is to accept for both races and weigh up which race she runs in after studying final fields and barrier draws.”
Savanna Amour was a brave third in the Group Three fillies race at Caufield last Saturday after sitting three wide and co-trainer John Meagher reports she has come through the run in good style.
Promising three year-old filly Savanna Amour has begun to cement her future value as a broodmare with a fighting third in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield.
The Love Conquers All filly was trapped wide for most of the 1200m trip and hit the lead straightening before being overrun by Fuhryk and Oregan’s Day.
Savanna Amour was a $100,000 yearling purchase by Grant Morgan from Ontrack at the 2014 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, the same ring in which he secured champion sprinter Brazen Beau.
Savanna Amour will now contest the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday 24 February.
“We were originally headed to the Angus Armanasco (1400m) at Caulfield on 25 Feb but we feel she is suited going back to 1200m at this stage in what we hope is a slightly softer target,” said Grant Morgan from Ontrack.
Savanna Amour is prepared by Melbourne Cup winning trainer John Meagher in partnership with son Chris Meagher from their Eagle Farm stables.
The Meagher’s are campaigning a small team in their former home state with the assistance of Mornington trainer Pat Carey, brother in law to John Meagher.
Impressive Sunshine Coast maiden winner Zoff Of The World is living proof that you never stop learning in the wonderful world of horse racing.
The son of Zoffany cleared maidens at only his fifth start and it’s fair to say he had been unlucky not to win his first start when he was a luckless third at his debut on the Sunshine Coast in July last year when eventual winner Pursuits took his line just as the horse was mounting what was a winning run.
But the remarkable thing about Zoff Of The World was a discovery made following the horse’s second up run for fifth last August.
John Meagher trains the horse is partnership with his son Chris and recalled that Zoff Of The World pulled up with a small amount of blood in one nostril. A post-race veterinary examination determined the bleeding was the result of external trauma.
“Our vet Leticia Kelly was at the stables a couple of days later and insisted that we scope the horse as a precaution. Thank goodness that she did because we found that he had the head from a thistle trapped up his nose.
“I’ve been training for a long, long time and have never heard of anything like this. He must have had the thing stuck up his nose for a fairly long period and you can imagine how irritating it would have been,” said John.
Zoff Of The World has had three starts back as a three-year-old and apart from an awful fresh-up run when he resented blinkers, he has run well for the Sunshine Coast win and a nice second behind talented three-year-old Deep Image at Doomben.
“He’s a very nice horse but he really needs racing,” said John Meagher. ”He still does plenty wrong in his races and that’s something that will only be corrected by more race day experience. Once he gets a bit of ringcraft we are confident that he will stretch out in distance and in six months’ time he will have no problems with 2000 metres or more.”
Purchased out of the March QTIS Sale in 2014 by Grant Morgan of Ontrack Thoroughbreds, Zoff OF The World is from the first crop of shuttle stallion Zoffany from the Galileo mare Tequilakoko.
“Ontrack was approached by Adam Shepherd from the Brisbane Racing Club’s young members group to find a horse to be trained at Eagle Farm and we bought Zoff Of The World for that group. Ontrack co-promoted the colt to our client base completed the ownership group to race the colt.
“He was a big strong colt at the sales with a fantastic temperament and you could see that he would fill out and grow into a pretty impressive three year-old and that’s what has happened,” said Grant Morgan.
“The Meaghers have had an opinion of him the whole way through but he has had develop and strengthen and that’s why he did not debut until late July. He is still learning his craft and what he has achieved to date is all based on natural ability. We are confident that once he learns a bit more about racing he will develop into a nice staying horse,” said Grant Morgan.
“We won’t do too much more with him this preparation and he is likely to have only one more outing before heading out for another break to develop and strengthen. We would like to think that next time in he will prove competitive in some of the nice races for staying three-year-olds during the Brisbane winter carnival. and we will point him towards the Queensland Derby”
"He has a similar profile to last years Derby winner Eagle Way. If he can progress the same way and collect a Saturday Metro 3yo race before a break, he would certainly earn a crack at the Derby."
Congratulations to Zoff Of The World’s owners: Ontrack Thoroughbreds No 1 Syndicate, FFoz Racing, Anne Wade, Prof James Dale, Kathryn Adams, Erin Barclay, Christine Chapman, David Dawson, We’re The One Percenters Syndicate, Sharon Harris, Steve Kirkham, Mark Lowe, Allan and Brenda Satchell, Len Stone, Stewart Taylor, Alan Jackson, Ken Stocks, Prof Terry Walsh.
FULL TIME – NEW POSITION - BUNDALL - QUEENSLAND
Ontrack Thoroughbreds is a licenced racehorse syndication company which has been in full operation in its current form since 2008. We have 40+ horses with leading trainers in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. We are recognised as the leading racehorse syndication company in Queensland. Our greatest success to date has come from dual Group 1 winner and Australian 3yo colt of the year BRAZEN BEAU. In addition to our syndication arm, we also operate a successful commercial racing tour business. Our client base is growing rapidly and we require an ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT to assist in servicing our clients and to provide administrative support. We are looking for a passionate racing professional looking for a full time position to be based in our Gold Coast office at Bundall.
Applications close 17 February 2017
For further information contact Ontrack Thoroughbreds: Grant Morgan
Phone: 07 5591 9584 email email@example.com or visit www.getontrack.com.au