New Zealand import Atishu gave Australian racing fans a glimpse of her quality when storming home to win Saturday’s Darwin Turf Club Trophy (1400m) at Randwick at her first start across the Tasman.
The Go Racing-owned four-year-old has transferred from Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh to Sydney-based Kiwi Chris Waller, having won four of her nine starts in New Zealand, culminating in Listed wins in the NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) and Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.
“She was sent over to us in tremendous condition by Stephen Marsh, who has done a great job with her,” Waller said.
“I feel for the New Zealand trainers because they are doing it tough at the moment. They lose a few of their horses to Australia, but Stephen will be looked after, I can assure you of that.
“She has got a bright future. It was hard to weigh up her New Zealand form but she’s a winner and she did a good job resuming today.”
The daughter of Savabeel had made a favourable impression from her new quarters when winning a trial over 1030m at Rosehill last week, while winning rider Kerrin McEvoy had been confident after watching the mare’s races in New Zealand.
“I watched her replays and was really taken with her wins over there,” McEvoy said.
“She was giving them some big starts in races and powering to the line. It didn’t surprise me after seeing her trial really well to come out here today on top of the ground. It was a nice win.
“I remember riding her about six weeks ago and she gave me a nice feel then. Josh Cartwright sent me a text and said she trialled really well and that she had been moving well at home. It gave me confidence coming here today. She looked fit and ready to go and she has got a great will to win.
Lucrative spring targets could beckon Atishu, with the Group 1 Epsom (1600m) potentially on the radar, with the AUD$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) also a possible, with the race restricted to four-year-olds.
There is also the option to extend the mare in distance, with early nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) should she continue to flourish.
Bred by Waikato Stud, Atishu is by Savabeel out of the No Excuse Needed mare Posy, who won two races and is a sister to the former Champion Three-Year-Old and multiple Group One winner Daffodil, who has produced three stakes performers in Grand De Flora, Grand Bouquet and Snowdrop.
Albert Bosma’s Go Racing went to NZD$260,000 to secure Atishu as a yearling from Waikato Stud’s 2019 Karaka Book 1 draft.