Seachange Still Playing A Starring Role

Champion mare Seachange was a flagship performer for The Oaks Stud and her legacy continues to be felt on both sides of the Tasman.

Bred and raced by the Cambridge nursery, the two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year landed seven Group One titles during her decorated career and the daughter of Cape Cross’ influence remains current.

Seachange features prominently in the pedigrees of The Oaks Stud’s Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) runner-up Antrim Coast and farm graduate Drakaina, successful in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m).

“Seachange is 21 now and she was at the (NZB Kiwi) slot auction and we took her to Legends’ Day at Te Rapa and she loves a trip away,” The Oaks General Manager Rick Williams said.

“She hasn’t bred for a few years and she hangs around the farm. She’s got a great constitution and the hardest thing is trying to keep the weight off her.”

The boom Australian two-year-old Storm Boy, who continued his unbeaten run in the Gr.2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick to tighten his grip on the Gr.1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), is also another high-profile family member.

“Antrim Coast is out of Coasting, who is by Sakhee’s Secret and a full-sister to Justa Secret, the dam of the Ace High filly Drakaina,” Williams said.

Coasting and Justa Secret are daughters of Seachange’s half-sister Keepa Cruisin, winner of the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m).

“Storm Boy also continued on his winning way and he’s a grandson of Seachange so the family has gone berserk just lately,” Williams said.

While Antrim Coast started at long odds in the Derby, Williams was quietly confident of him figuring in the finish.

“I wasn’t surprised and had a significant place bet on him. I said the filly (Orchestral), bar getting knocked over would win comfortably, but the rest were wide open,” he said.

“We knew he would stay, he was bang on and he had a draw, which was a massive help to put him in the race and get him closer.

“He ran on strongly in a very fast Derby, he doesn’t have the class of the filly and couldn’t have done any better.”

The Stephen Marsh-trained Antrim Coast will have a few days off at The Oaks with the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) a future option for the son of resident stallion Roc De Cambes.

“There’s a possibility that there could be some offers, he’s a gelding, so we’ll see what happens,” Williams said.

His dam Coasting also has a two-year-old son of Ace High who is currently at The Oaks and will shortly go into work.

“Coasting unfortunately died this year and Justa Secret has a Niagara filly called Raziah with Tony Pike and she recently ran second in her first trial,” Williams said.

Drakaina was a $3,000 purchase via the Gavelhouse platform and Justa Secret has subsequently produced a colt by Reliable Man, a son of Eminent last year and is in foal to U S Navy Flag.

The Oaks’ lucrative weekend also included the homebred Can’t Recall One successful on debut at Eagle Farm for trainer Stuart Kendrick.

The son of Reliable Man and the Darci Brahma mare Recollecting is closely related to the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) winner Sentimental Miss and was a $90,000 purchase at Karaka last year.

The farm also races the Pike-trained Vera Rose, who was a nose off third in the Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m) with the Pike-trained daughter of Fiorente holding a nomination for the Oaks.

So too does last-start Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) runner-up Harlow Rocks and the Roc De Cambes filly will step out in take two of the Gr.2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2000m) on Friday.

“We’ve got some nice staying horses and she will go to Taupo, but whether she backs up in the Oaks I’m not sure and we’ll take one race at a time,” Williams said.

-Paul Vettise, Loveracing.nz News Desk


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