Trainer Roger James admitted he had pretty much given up the ghost towards the end of a bidding stoush for Lot 126, the Sebring filly from the Trelawney Stud draft at Karaka on Sunday.
James and the Go Racing Syndications team went head-to-head for several minutes for the filly out of stakes placed mare Smashing, with James finally securing the granddaughter of multiple Group Two winner Ruud Van Slaats (NZ) (Van Nistelrooy) for $295,000.
“I am indebted to my owner who was with me all the way on this filly,” James said.
“He showed a lot of heart as I thought we were out $100,000 earlier, to be honest.
“He has been a longtime client of the stable and has raced a Group One winner with me, so I’m hoping we might have picked up another exciting type for him.”
While James was taken with the pedigree of the filly who also traces back to 2013/2014 two-year-old of the year Ruud Awakening, it was her athletic nature that really sealed the deal.
“She has a great pedigree but more importantly, she is a true-blue athlete,” he said.
“She’s a much earlier type than I’ve bought for him before.
“I saw her at Trelawney about three weeks ago and then had another look as she was one of those on my list.
“When it got to the third cut, she was definitely there as one of the ones we wanted to buy.
“I haven’t had much time to analyse the market today as I have been busy with owners and the like, but I’m just thrilled I could buy this filly for some lovely people.”
James had active earlier in the day securing Lot 37, a Nicconi colt from the Highview Stud draft for $120,000.
James was also looking forward to the progress of Lonhro colt Western Springs, who produced an eye-catching late run to finish close up behind the placegetters in Saturday’s Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie.
“I am super happy with him as we bought him as a three-year-old classic miler and he has already stepped up in probably the best two-year-old race of the year,” James said.
“He had no early pace, but boy did he find the line.
“I haven’t seen the sectionals, but I think he would have measured up to most.”