Defining Travis Stakes victory for Apostrophe

New Zealand mare Apostrophe capped a month to remember for Vinery Stud partner Greg Perry when she made it back-to-back feature wins in the Travis Stakes (Gr.2, 2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Apostrophe had opened her black-type account earlier this month in the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 2100m) at Trentham on the eve of a very successful Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for Perry headed by a $725,000 Zoustar colt from his VRC Oaks (Gr.1, 2500m) winner Aristia.

Perry bred Apostrophe using Tavistock (NZ) over Sandown Lakeside winner Cape South (Cape Cross) who is a younger half-sister to MVRC Woodstock Classic (Gr.2, 1500m) winner Pure Harmony (Stravinsky).  Cape South’s final foal for Perry is Tavistock’s two-time Eagle Farm winner Southern Stock.

“That was a tremendous effort by Apostrophe – I didn’t think she could win halfway down the straight,” co-trainer Roger James admitted following the career-defining victory.  “She often hits a flat patch then sprints quickly again.  She’s rising seven and it could be her last run.”

James had won the 2022 Travis Stakes with Two Illicit (Jimmy Choux) and he revealed everything has gone to plan in her final campaign.  “She doesn’t take much work and was fit and ready for the 2000m today.  Whether we go on, I don’t know but she done what every breeder wants to do with a mare.”

Apostrophe is owned by Invercargill-based Jim Hannan who has raced numerous horses with James most notably 1997 NZ 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) winner Foxwood (Centaine).  “He’s been a very loyal owner and this has made his day,” James continued.  “He’s well into his 80s but was up at 5 o’clock this morning to catch the flight and has been to Matamata to see his yearlings as well.”

Perry’s yearlings at this month’s Inglis Easter Sale were all popular besides the Zoustar leader purchased by Hong Kong trainer Dougie Whyte.  The South African expat recently passed 200 wins in the five years since he retired as the most successful jockey ever in Hong Kong.

Boomer Bloodstock’s Craig Rounsefell was next best paying $575,000 for the Street Boss filly from Group 1 performer Sezanne (More Than Ready).

There was another Kiwi connection for Perry at Riverside Stables with the Star Turn filly out of NZ-bred mare Naantali (Rip Van Winkle) who was a Listed winner in Melbourne.  She was knocked down for $360,000 to Eddie Hirsch who continues to upgrade his bloodstock portfolio in Victoria.

Right behind her was the Flying Artie full-brother to Group 1 sprinter Artorius from Vinery (as agent) for Perry that went to Singapore-based Aramco Racing for $350,000.  The colt will be trained by Chris Waller.

Perry has more irons in the fire for the last-quarter of the season including Eagle Farm-based 3yo Deep Respect who is closely-related to Artorius.  Trainer Kelly Schweida is prepping him for the Brisbane Winter Carnival off a Doomben barrier-trial placing on April 11.

The 3yo son of Deep Field won two of his first three starts at Doomben earlier this season and was last seen finishing fourth in the BRC Vo Rogue Plate (Gr.3, 1350m) on New Year’s Eve.  “Kelly has always had a high opinion of Deep Respect,” Perry said.  “He looks a progressive type but only does what’s required.”