Karaka graduates revelling at Riccarton

Karaka graduates completed a stakes winning double during the premier week of racing at Riccarton Park on Wednesday.

Altered Image produced a brilliant performance to win the G2 $250,000 Coupland’s Bakery Mile.  Settling right on a blistering pace, Altered Image was simply too good for the opposition winning by two lengths from The Meista (Montjeu) and Hold It Harvey (King Cugat).

Altered Image (5g Strategic Image – Dented Ambition by Danasinga) is trained by Michael Moroney and Andrew Clarken for a syndicate that bought him for $20,000 from Belmont Farm at the 2007 Karaka Festival Sale.   He has now won 6 races and over $427,000 in stakes.

“I was pretty confident along way out as he travelled so beautifully,” jockey Michael Coleman said.  “He’s a great horse when right.”

Altered Image was unbeaten as a two year-old and that included a six length victory in the Listed Fairview Motors Ford 2YO.  He graduated to a Group 1 victory in the Levin Classic at three but had been sidelined for over a year before returning from injury in September.

The winner is by Te Runga Stud sire Strategic Image and his dam has a 2YO filly by Perfectly Ready and a yearling colt by Any Suggestion.

Earlier in the day, Coup Align scored an all-the-way victory in the G3 $100,000 CJC Stewards Stakes (1200m) from The Chunkster (Blevic) and Tip The Wink (Stravinsky).

Coup Align (5g Align – Diamond Snip by Snippets) had only returned home to Michael Pitman’s stables five days before the Riccarton feature.  He won the Apache Cat Classic at Cranbourne during a brief Australian campaign in October.

Coup Align was bought for $30,000 by Badgers Bloodstock from Highview Stud at the 2007 Karaka Select yearling sale.  He has now won 12 races and earned connections over $350,000.

Highview stallion Align sired the Stewards Stakes winner from an unraced daughter of G1 AJC Champagne Stakes winner I Like Diamonds (Baguette).

The 2011 Karaka National Yearling Sale Series will be held at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Karaka sale complex from January 31 to February 7. Catalogues will be available from November 26.