Group 1 glory for Almanzor

Group 1 glory for Almanzor29 Oct 2022

Almanzor stood tall on one of the great days on the global racing calendar when his son Manzoice produced a superb staying performance to reign supreme in the G1 VRC Derby at Flemington.

Our prized shuttle stallion has made a sterling start to his stud career by claiming New Zealand first season sire honours in 2021/22 with unsurpassed progeny earnings and also bagged the Champion Two-Year-Old Sire title.

And Almanzor has now been credited with his first elite level success following the Chris Waller-trained Manzoice’s victory in the 2500 metre Victorian Blue Riband feature. Our hearty congratulations to all involved, particularly the colt’s Blenheim-based breeder Stephanie Hole.

The winner of two of his six starts, Manzoice settled well off the pace before rider Michael Dee was able to get him into open air and they came with an irresistible finish in the straight.

“It’s unbelievable and I have to thank Chris Waller and his team who presented him in tip-top shape,” Dee said.

“He was so calm and he’s got such a big stride and everything panned out well.

“I was very happy early, and then the tempo came out of the race. It just got a bit tricky from the mile onwards, when we were getting pushed around by horses inside and out.

“We were just starting to edge toward the outside, and he really let down strongly when we got into the clear.

“He’s a big, strong horse, and he was able to buffet his way out. I was always confident he was going to be strong the last furlong too.”

Waller’s Racing Manager Charlie Duckworth said Manzoice had been set for the Derby months ago.

“This has been the plan all the way through and things hadn’t really gone his way with wide draws and wet tracks, but we stuck solid to the plan and it was a beautiful ride.

“It was looking like he was going to be a bit unlucky on the turn and he kept persevering to get out and finished so well.

“He’s a horse that has kept improving with racing and he’s got the job done and terrific feeling.”

Manzoice is out of Mastercraftsman’s daughter Choice, who won three races including the G3 Eulogy Stakes, and was purchased by Waller and bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster out of Bhima Thoroughbreds’ draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for A$340,000.

In what proved to be a fitting piece of timing Choice delivered a sister to Manzoice at Wentwood Grange just hours before the running of the Derby.