Trainer Glen Harvey capped a week he will never forget when two-year-old filly Brix upset predictions by taking out the Listed Fasttrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.
Harvey produced one of the feel-good success stories out of the annual NZB Ready To Run Sale on Wednesday when he turned a $5,100 outlay into $230,000 through the sale of his Reliable Man colt, that he purchased as a weanling off New Zealand Bloodstock’s online sales platform gavelhouse.com, to Hong Kong trainer Francis Lui.
In his first full season of training in New Zealand following a four-year stint as an assistant trainer in Singapore, Harvey lined up two runners in Saturday’s juvenile feature with last start winner Miss Ipenema expected to more prominent than her stablemate Brix.
Obviously, no-one told the Sweynesse filly who was sporting blinkers for the first time after three previous runs had seen her finish fourth twice as well as losing her rider shortly after jumping away at her second start.
There was no such drama this time as rider Sam Collett had her travelling sweetly in the trail throughout before angling four wide in the home straight to issue her challenge. Just as second favourite Quattro Quinta looked like he would stride to victory, Brix swooped with a sharp finishing burst that carried her to a short neck victory with local runner Cool Change charging home along the rail to snatch third from the heavily backed first starter Beldarra.
Collett, who is celebrating her 31st birthday, was taken with the performance. “Glen is doing a great job with these young horses at an early stage in his training career,” Collett said. “She was very brave today. She hopped a wee bit awkward but managed to recover from that good gate (2). “I was searching for a run a little while out and I thought she was going to be unlucky. When she did get out, she really stuck her head out and had a will to win.”
Harvey was feeling confident leading into the race after the filly came up with her inside barrier draw. I was confident she was one hundred percent ready to go,” he said. “It is the first time she had drawn a proper gate and then Sam gave her a beautiful ride. “Funnily enough Sam is one of my oldest friends, but this is only the second horse she has ridden for me, so that was fantastic we could combine for my first stakes win.
“I’m also thrilled for her owners including Mr Caro who is on course today. He is ninety-one and finds it hard to go to race meetings but he’s here today and he’s now had his first winner. “He’s got the trophy and it’s an awesome feeling to be able to do that for him.”
Harvey will now send both of his runners for a short break before turning his sights towards the $1m Karaka Million 2YO Classic (1200m) at Ellerslie in January. “Both my horses will have a freshen up now as they have had a big prep so far,” he said. “The wide barrier really cost Miss Ipenema, who was on a hiding to nothing with a lot of speed inside her. “They will both target the Karaka Million so we will tip them out and then bring them back for one run before we tackle that one.”
Harvey outlaid $45,000 to purchase Brix out of the Kilgravin Lodge draft during the Book 2 sale at Karaka earlier this year. She is out of the Group 3 placed mare Somethymesoon, a sister of dual stakes winner Post Thyme.
Her $27,000 winner’s cheque lifts her into third place on the order of entry for the Karaka Million just ahead of Miss Ipenema with both fillies certain to qualify for the race.
Brix also provided Novara Park Stud-based stallion Sweynesse with his third individual stakes winner alongside Bonita Aurelia (Group 3 Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m)) and Only Words (Listed Wanganui Guineas (1200m)).