Birchley welcomes back Sister Havana

Sister Havana broke a losing drought going back 18 months with a welcome win in the Sir James Kirby Hcp on Grafton Cup day.

Sister Havana (3f General Nediym – Ultima Vita by Canny Lad) had required throat surgery since a big-ticket victory in the 2010 Karaka Million at Ellerslie.  “It’s been a very hard to place her since that win in New Zealand,” trainer Liam Birchley said.  “The 1000 metres with the light weight suited and it was a terrific ride from Paul Hammersley.”

The winner was backed into a $3.90 second favourite and she repaid punters with an overdue return to form over Master Gaze (Intergaze) and Lifeboat (Easy Rocking).

Sister Havana is from the third last crop of former Widden Stud sire General Nediym who died in January 2009.  There have been 45 individual winners from that crop to date and, apart from the Karaka Millions winner, the other members of that generation include Military Rose (Gold Coast MM 2yo Classic), Sweet Cheeks (LR VRC Maribyrnong Trial), Big River (NZ Wellesley Stakes), Marmaa (MVRC Inglis Juvenile) and the stakes performers Cuddles for Naara, Everlasting, Lauradane, Lol and Marmaa.

Birchley purchased her from Shelby Park’s draft for $40,000 at the 2009 Karaka Select Sale.  She is part-owned by Tony Carroll who has been a friend if the trainer since their schooldays

Sister Havana is a half-sister to Group placed Hong Kong sprinter Tchaikovsky (Snippets) and is also related to G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Reward for Effort (Exceed and Excel) who has been signed to stand at Chatswood Stud.