Exciting weekend for Haunui Farm

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Wyndspelle’s breakthrough Group 1 win topped off a big day at Trentham on Saturday for Haunui Farm. In winning the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), Wyndspelle became the 10th individual Group 1 winner for the Haunui Farm-based sire Iffraaj. Three races earlier on the programme Haunui Farm, as part-owners, shared in the success of exciting two-year-old Not An Option in the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) and on the same day at Ellerslie Orakei Overlord, a son of Iffraaj, notched his sixth win.

Haunui Farm Managing Director Mark Chitty was excited with the Trentham double and particularly pleased to see Wyndspelle finally get a Group 1 victory after four seconds, two thirds and a fourth at elite level. “There was no more deserving winner of a Group 1 than him,” Chitty said. “And it was good for Jen Campin, his part-owner who bought him through Phill Cataldo. Jen was an original shareholder in Iffraaj and she supported him. “It’s a great result for Iffraaj, who has now had 71 stakes winners worldwide. He is serving just under 80 mares this year and will be well represented at Karaka. He’s got 41 in Book 1 and we’ve got 13 of them.”

Chitty is now looking forward to further major wins with Not An Option, who is unbeaten in two trials and two races for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike. “Tony has taken him along quietly and he stepped up on Saturday and he looks exciting,” Chitty said. Not An Option, a son of Not A Single Doubt from the Pike-trained dual Group winner Chintz, is now at the top of the qualifying list for the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 25. “He’s an exciting horse with a great temperament,” Pike said. “He’s clearly the best I’ve had going for the Karaka Million. “Sacred Elixir was an outstanding horse, but the Karaka Million (distance) was too sharp for him.”

Not An Option is part of a package of six colts Pike bought from Book 1 at Karaka earlier this year. “The idea was to spend $1 million on five nice colts at Karaka and I put a syndicate of owners together,” Pike said. “I approached Waikato Stud and Haunui Farm and they were interested and Raffles Farm and Rob Ferguson were in, too. “The other owners are Murray Watson, a real racing enthusiast from Christchurch, Noel Greenhalgh from Australia who has horses with Chris Waller and we’ve become great mates. “Barry and Liz Waldron, who built my house, are the others in the group. “Not An Option was the last lot we bought. We’ve shot our bullets and spent the $1 million on five colts and I approached the group keen to get him as well. He’d been passed in so we went and bought him, too.”

Not An Option was purchased from the Curraghmore draft for $240,000 and being familiar with his pedigree was a bonus, according to Pike. Not An Option’s dam, Chintz, was bred by Pike and his parents, Wayne and Vicki, and raced by them through his stable. She won six races, including the 2014 Group 2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) and the Group 3 Westbury Classic (1400m) and was runner-up in the Group 1 Easter Handicap (1600m) after finishing third in the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha and second in the Group 2 Japan – New Zealand International Trophy (1600m) at Tauranga.

Chintz is also a half-sister to Pike’s Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Chenille. “We sold Chintz to Newhaven Park and they kept a Snitzel filly from her and sold her on to Aquis Farm, who offered Not An Option at Karaka,” Pike said. “It’s been a bit of a circle really.”

The other five colts purchased for Pike’s syndicate of owners are by Vancouver from Alessandra (bought for $180,000), by Pride Of Dubai from Estonian Princess ($140,000), by Savabeel from Miracle Miss ($250,000), by Snitzel from Zarzuela ($275,000) and by Tavistock from Teranti ($170,000).

The Vancouver, Pride Of Dubai and Savabeel colts have all trialled, but Pike believes they need more time. “Not An Option is definitely the most forward of them all,” Pike said. “He’s a great result for the owners and hopefully he can become a stallion prospect.”

If Not An Option does eventually warrant standing at stud, Chitty said it would come down to the best proposition where he would go. “We initially bought the colts as racehorses and if any of them turn out to be stallion prospects, well and good,” he said.

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