Rich Hill Stud is celebrating a first success for young resident sire Ace High following Bezique’s dashing victory on his home track at Ruakaka on Saturday.
A son of the influential High Chaparral, Ace High was an Australian star during his racing career with a brace of top-flight victories from the Sydney stable of David Payne and has now made his mark early in his stallion career.
“That was great, it’s really exciting and a fantastic feeling. That’s going to be the first of many winners for the stallion,” studmaster John Thompson said.
He has only been represented by a handful of race day representatives to date, and they include the promising Molly Bloom who overcame a tardy start to finish a close third in her only appearance last season.
Ace High’s breakthrough winner Bezique is prepared by Kenny Rae and his daughter Krystal Williams and had run fourth on debut earlier this month behind the talented Crocetti, who won Saturday’s Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) to remain unbeaten in three starts.
Bezique was quickly into stride from the inside gate on Saturday to make the running in the hands of Jasmine Fawcett and the three-year-old held a strong gallop in the run home to defeat older opposition over 1200 metres.
“We’ve had great feedback on the Ace Highs and he’s had five trial winners and a number of placegetters,” Thompson said.
“Some of those trial horses have gone to Australia and they know all about him over there.”
Bezique was bred by Gordon Cunningham and sold through his Curraghmore draft for $20,000 at the 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale.
He is out of the Bachelor Duke mare Kashika, who is a half-sister to the Listed Matamata Slipper Stakes (1200m) winner Savabill and also the family of the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) winner Native Song.
Ace High is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Come Sunday and won on five occasions with victories in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) taking pride of place on his CV.
He also finished runner-up in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) and trained on as a four-year-old to win the Gr.2 Hill Stakes (2000m).
“Ace High was a dual Group One winner in Australia and he won the Spring Champion Stakes, which horses like Dundeel and Savabeel have won, so it is a sire making race,” Thompson said. – NZ Racing Desk