Black Piranha goes back-to-back in Stradbroke

Black Piranha led home a Magic Millions quinella when he nailed Melito in a thrilling finish to the G1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Black Piranha was a $41,000 buy for his connections from Kulani Park at the 2005 Gold Coast Magic Millions.  He has parlayed that price into more than $2.51 million in prizemoney.  “He was just the most athletic horse at the Magic Millions sales,” part-owner Tony Karakatsanis said.  “He really took my eye and he’s turned out a great racehorse.”

Karakatsanis and his trainer son Con guided Black Piranha to a second triumph in the Stradbroke.  Former NZ champion Rough Habit, who led yesterday’s Stradbroke field on to the course proper, was the last horse to claim back-to-back Stradbrokes in 1991-92.

“This horse is a freak!” Con Karakatsanis beamed.  “I always wanted to defend the title and to make it come true is the best feeling in the world.”

Black Piranha is by Willowbend Stud sire Clang and is his third elite winner after Calaway Gal (STC Golden Slipper) and Clangalang (AJC Derby).  Willowbend owner David Lucas knocked back a substantial offer for Clang from Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.

Clang (Bellotto) is a Woodlands homebred and covered his 13th book at Willowbend in 2009.  He has averaged nearly 100 mares a season and stands for a $5,500 fee at Beaudesert.

Clang has sired 308 winners at a 61% strike-rate and there have been 9 stakes winners to date.  Apart from Black Piranha, Calaway Gal and Clangalang, his best-known galloper is the Marc Connors trained front-runner Mr Clangtastic.  He won four in row last year culminating with victories in the LR Wyong Cup and G3 AJC Colin Stephen Stakes.

Black Piranha’s dam Jazz Fund (Secret Savings) was trained by John Shelton but was retired without facing the starter after finishing last in three Brisbane barrier trials.  She has been a nightmare breeder for the Israel family since foaling the G1 winner first-up.  She missed to Shovhog, Youthful Legs, Conatus and Clang (2) before she was bred back to the Willowbend sire last September.

Black Piranha won the Stradbroke in a hectic four-way finish from Melito, Mic Mac and Beaded.  Melito will be set for the G1 Winter Stakes against fillies and mares at Eagle Farm in a fortnight.  She is a Reavill Farm homebred for John and David Rippon but did sell to Gerald Ryan for $600,000 at the 2008 Gold Coast Magic Millions.