Jamie Richards and Te Akau Racing’s total dominance of New Zealand two-year-old racing rolled on with a richly deserved Group One triumph for On the Bubbles in Saturday’s Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
The Awapuni feature was the 21st juvenile win of the season for Richards and the Te Akau team, with seven of those coming at black-type level.
They have now won the Sires’ Produce Stakes four times in a row, with On the Bubbles following in the footsteps of Melody Belle, Avantage and Yourdeel. The syndication juggernaut has also collected five consecutive Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) trophies, along with all of the last four editions of the Sistema Stakes (1200m).
On the Bubbles has been a key contributor to this season’s juvenile success. Bought by David Ellis for $90,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2019, the son of Brazen Beau has won four of his six starts, including the Karaka Million and Sires’ Produce Stakes.
His only defeats have been second placings behind standout stablemate Sword of State in the Sistema Stakes and the Group 3 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) at Matamata. On the Bubbles has earned more than $740,000 in stakes for the Te Akau Splash of Dom Racing Partnership.
Saturday’s Sires’ Produce Stakes was a dominant front-running performance, spearing forward from a wide gate to hit the front inside the first 100 metres and never looking back.
On the Bubbles and jockey Johnathan Parkes went into overdrive at the top of the home straight, opening up a commanding lead and romping home in a spectacular tour de force.
The winner’s stablemate I Wish I Win did the best of the rest, finishing three lengths away in second, with another four lengths back to fellow Matamata runner Bonny Lass in third.
“On the Bubbles just loves being a racehorse,” Richards said. “I’m proud of him. He’s been to almost every dance this season, and he just keeps improving.
“I knew from his work on Tuesday morning that we were in for a good show this weekend, and he’s lived up to it on raceday.”
Saturday’s victory was a fitting end to an impressive campaign for On the Bubbles, with Richards now turning his attention to the spring.
“He’ll go out for a good break now, and we’ll bring him back and set him for the 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November,” the premiership-leading trainer said.
Richards was also delighted with the performance of runner-up I Wish I Win, who was making only his second career start. The son of Savabeel won on debut at Awapuni on March 6, along with victories in all of his three trials appearances.
“Take nothing away from I Wish I Win, that was a huge effort from a horse having only his second start,” Richards said. “I think they’re two pretty exciting horses for the future.”
On the Bubbles was bred in Australia by Burnewang North Pastoral, and he is out of a half-sister to the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) winner Politeness.