Fortuna NZ

Authorized Thoroughbred Syndicators

Fortuna 2yo WINDBORNE to contest New Zealand’s richest race

Destiny beckons for the smart Fortuna 2yo Filly, WINDBORNE, who will run in the Karaka Million, New Zealand’s richest race, at Ellerslie on Sunday 25th. The talented daughter of DARCI BRAHMA out of the mare, SWEET DREAMS BABY, was ranked 3rd in the order of entry for the 14 horse field. Rankings are determined by prize money won by runners in the season to date.

WINDBORNE winning Murdoch Newell Stakes at Avondale November 2014

WINDBORNE winning Murdoch Newell Stakes at Avondale November 2014

WINDBORNE was super impressive in winning her first two starts, firstly at Ellerslie in October and then a Listed race at Avondale in November. She was slightly disappointing to connections at her third start, the Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, finishing 5th in that event. However, she has trained on nicely since and is ready for he big assignment on Sunday 25th.

Syndicate Manager, John Galvin, comments, ” This is a great thrill for her ownership group of 29 individuals. It is extremely difficult to get a 2yo capable of making the field for this race and to have a runner in a Million Dollar race is just so exciting for them.”

Drawn well at barrier seven, WINDBORNE will have the services of NZ Premiership winning jockey, Matthew Cameron, to ride her in the 1200 metre event.

Trained by Jason Bridgman of Te Akau Racing Stables, WINDBORNE was acquired by Fortuna at the Karaka Select Sale of 2014. She was bred by David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis and is a full sister to the talented Stakes performer DARCI’S DREAM.

Fortuna’s January Newsletter is here

18th January 2015

  • Fortuna Ready To Run Purchases almost sold

  • Fortuna 2yo Filly, WINDBORNE, to chase Million Dollar Glory in Karaka Million at Ellerslie 25th January

  • Karaka Yearling Sales just around the corner

  • Karaka Open Day for Syndicators planned for Wednesday 4th February – after the Karaka Sales

Ready to Run Sales Purchases

At the Ready to Run Sales in late November Fortuna acquired two outstanding individuals, one to race in NZ (Stratum-The Party Stand Colt), the other (Postponed-Promissory Gelding) to race in Singapore. Two quite different types; the Stratum Colt, whom we have nicknamed “Billy” is a real get up and go sprinting type who will probably make his race day debut toward the end of February, while the Postponed Gelding (nicknamed “Bart”), being out of a Zabeel mare, has been acquired to contest staying races in Singapore.

Billy is now 92.5% sold, so you would need to be quick if you wanted to participate. He has had one jump out already, doing a second this coming week and then will trial in early February ahead of a planned late Feb race day debut. By a Golden Slipper winning Sire and out of a Group One winning mare, he has great credentials and is a really flashy looker as well. $7200 for a 5% share with $160 per month ongoing costs commencing 1st February 2015 and we will do a 2.5% share for $3600 and $80 per month ongoing.

Two Year Old Colt by STRATUM out of THE PARTY STAND

Two Year Old Colt by STRATUM out of THE PARTY STAND

Bart is a different type of horse altogether. Imposing at 16 hands tall, he throws very much to the Zabeel side, long and lean with a typical stayer’s physique. He was spelled immediately after the sale and commenced a fresh preparation at Matamata on 5th January. He will be aimed for a couple of trials during the autumn with a plan to get him up to Singapore late May, which will give him plenty of time to acclimatise ahead of his 3yo season up there. Identified by Mark Walker as one of his four top selections at the sale, based on the breeze up gallops, he has a lovely low to the ground galloping action and his 10.6 second breeze up time was very impressive for a horse still some way short of maturity. Bart is now 75% sold and a 5% share in him is $6200 with $160 per month ongoing commencing 1st Feb 2015, with a 2.5% share just $3,100 and $80 per month ongoing. Not a lot of money for a horse who will be racing for S$75K in prize money at his first start in Singapore.



Contact John Galvin by email HERE  or call/text 021 921 460 if you would like to be involved in either of these two lovely 2yo’s.

WINDBORNE heads to the Karaka Million.

You know, it is incredibly difficult to get any 2yo to this Million Dollar event. Literally everything has to go right from as far back as about June. The slightest setback such as bit of shin soreness can rob connections of the valuable time they need to make the event. Limited to 2yo’s who were acquired at the Karaka 2014 sale, just 14 will run and the starters are determined by an Order of Entry based on prize money won in the current season.

Fortuna’s 2yo Filly, WINDBORNE (by Darci Brahma out of Sweet Dreams Baby) made a flying start to the season winning her first two starts (Ellerslie and Avondale) on her ear, before being slightly disappointing when 5th in the Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Years Day. Our post race analysis of that run indicates she did go a bit too hard early and so our aim in the KM race is to ride her a little colder and have her unleash her trademark turn of foot at the end of the race. WINDBORNE is currently 3rd on the order of entry for the race. Click HERE to see that Order of Entry.

Congratulations to all of the 29 Members who share in her Ownership, what a great thrill it must be for you all to be involved with a horse that is to contest NZ’s richest race and win, lose or draw, the memory of that will never fade.

WINDBORNE strides to winning post Elleslie 25th October 2014

WINDBORNE strides to winning post Elleslie 25th October 2014

Karaka Yearling Sales

Yes, it is that time of the year again with the Premier Sale session of Karaka 2015 kicking off Monday 26th January, followed later in the week by the Select and Festival Sales sessions.

As always Fortuna will be active aiming to acquire four to six quality yearlings. Regular followers of this newsletter will know that Fortuna likes to but in the “sweet spot” range of between $50,000 and $150,000, a price range that enables the acquisition of well conformed, nicely pedigreed thoroughbreds. It is notable that Fortuna’s best performer this season to date, the Listed winner and Group One placed, Darci’s Dream, only cost $45,000 at the 2013 sale. Her Karaka Million bound full sister Windborne, cost a bit more at $100,000 in 2014, but still great value given what her residual broodmare value would be currently. At the 2014 Premier Sale, we also bought the Iffraaj-Naturo filly for just $27,500 and while she has yet to go to the races, her recent trial’s performance would indicate that she has the makings of a lovely filly.

We already have short list in place with a final cut being made during this coming week. Some on the list will sell for a lot more than our budget, with others we get lucky and acquire them for less. All going well, by the end of the Select Sale (we don’t usually buy at Festival), we will have our four to six horses. At least one. maybe two, will have been acquired to race in Singapore and there will be a mixture of sprinting and middle distance/staying types. Ideally at least one of them will be contesting the 2016 Karaka Million!!

We have become very keen on fillies over the past two or three years, because the racing patten here in NZ certainly tends to favour the fairer sex and if you can get a good one, the market for well performed broodmares is very buoyant indeed.

In this age of super fast technology, our acquisitions are usually up on our website within a couple of hours of being bought. If you would like “first preference” of any of our acquisitions then email me HERE or call/text me 021 921 460 and you will receive an email giving details of any acquisition BEFORE it goes up on the Fortuna website. Finally, if you are planning to attend any of the sales sessions, please don’t hesitate to make contact with me; I will always make time to catch up with existing or potential clients.

Karaka Open Day Invitation

New Zealand Bloodstock in conjunction with NZ Thoroughbred Racing are sponsoring an Open Day for Syndicators at the Karaka Sales Centre on Wednesday 4th February between 5pm and 8pm.

Fortuna will be participating in this event which will include parades of selected yearlings and interviews by the MC with Syndicators.

All are welcome, including your friends, family and work colleagues, so if you would like to attend just email us  HERE. We look forward to seeing you there.




WINDBORNE makes it two from two with emphatic victory in the Murdoch Newell Stakes at Avondale

WINDBORNE in action Murdock Newell Stakes Avondale 22nd November 2014 - Click to enlarge Image

WINDBORNE in action Murdoch Newell Stakes at Avondale 22nd November 2014 – Click to enlarge Image (image courtesy of Race Images)

The money was hot for 2yo Filly, WINDBORNE, at Avondale today, closing at $2.20 on the Tote, but her effort justified punters’ optimism. Drawing 6 at the barrier, she jumped well, but then was crossed by two horses from outside barriers, causing the daughter of DARCI BRAHMA to over-race for about 100 metres. However rider Matt Cameron eased out of the speed duel and let his mount come back under him and relax. Turning for home WINDBORNE, as she did at Ellerslie with her debut win, took a few strides to balance up and then, with an electrifying turn of foot, sprinted away from her rivals, clear at the line by one and a half lengths. Click HERE to see the race result and Video replay.

A full sister to the 3yo Filly, DARCI’S DREAM, who just one week ago ran 2nd in the Group One NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, WINDBORNE is nominated for the Karaka Million event to be run at Ellerslie 25th January and will probably head to Ellerslie to tackle the Group Three Eclipse Stakes over 1200 metres on New Years Day as a final lead up race to the Karaka Million.

WINDBORNE (Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby) was bred by David Ellis and Karyn Fenton Ellis and offered at the 2014 Karaka Select Sale, where she was acquired by Fortuna Syndications Director, John Galvin for $100,000 and syndicated to an ownership group of 29 individuals.

“I am so happy for the Syndicate Members,” said John Galvin,  “several are first timers and quite a few of them are also Members of the DARCI’S DREAM Syndicate, so they have had a great week in racing.”

Fortuna Two Year Old Filly WINDBORNE chases black type at Avondale

WINDBORNE strides to winning post Elleslie 25th October 2014

WINDBORNE strides to winning post Elleslie 25th October 2014

Racing in Race 3 at 1.35pm,  Windborne (2 f Darci Brahma – Sweet Dreams Baby) –  to be ridden by Matt Cameron; received a lovely trail and came clear to win untouched on debut in the 2YO 880 metres on Oct. 25 at Ellerslie, and following a brief freshen-up she takes her place in barrier six for the Murdoch Newell 2YO Stakes (Listed, 1100m). The current $2.80 fixed odds favourite for the race, having clocked a sizzling last 600m in 32.8 when winning at Ellerslie, she appears to have done very well between races and strips in tip-top condition. A sister to Darci’s Dream, who last Saturday did Fortuna and Te Akau proud when finishing runner-up in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), she possesses all the right attributes in a young filly to take some beating.

Fortuna acquires Two Year old Colt by the Golden Slipper winning Sire, STRATUM, out of the Group One winning mare, THE PARTY STAND

” I really wanted to buy this horse as soon as I saw him, says Fortuna Syndications Director, John Galvin,” strong and powerful, he presents as  strong sprinting type. He received a big tick from all of my selection team and we are very happy to have acquired him to Syndicate.”

The STRATUM Colt has gone straight into work at Matamata and will be prepared for a trial early in the New Year and all going well, should make his race day debut in the late summer/early Autumn.

Click HERE to read more details on this Colt. $7,200 for a 5% share.


Fortuna acquires Strong Staying type at Ready To Run Sale – to be Raced in Singapore

Fortuna Director, John Galvin, with expert assistance from David Ellis and Jamie Richards of Te Akau racing and Singapore based Trainer, Mark Walker, today nailed down a Colt by Postponed out of a Zabeel Mare to be offered for public syndication.

“We wanted to be able to secure a strong staying type to send to Singapore to attack some of the big staying races, such as The Singapore Derby and the Singapore Gold Cup” explained John Galvin, ” this horse was identified by Mark Walker as having an excellent galloping action and subsequent physical inspections by David Ellis and Jamie Richards confirmed that he was a lovely physical type.”

Click HERE to see full  details of this horse.

Fortuna 3yo Filly, DARCI’S DREAM, runs 2nd in Group One 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.

Winning or even running a place in a Group One event, particularly with a Filly, is an objective that any owner of a Thoroughbred Filly aspires to. Indeed, even to have a horse good enough to run in such an event is an achievement in itself.

DARCI'S DREAM with David Walsh aboard  on way to victory Canterbury Belle Stakes

DARCI’S DREAM with David Walsh aboard on way to victory Canterbury Belle Stakes

So, as the 2014 renewal of the NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, run over 1600 metres and probably the most prestigious Fillies event in NZ, approached, the ownership group of DARCI’S DREAM (Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby) were naturally excited, hopeful and apprehensive all at the same time. While DARCI’S DREAM had won on the Riccarton track (Canterbury Belle Stakes) over 1200 metres in September, her main competitor, O’Marilyn, who was already a Group One winner as a 2yo and had been dominant in her 3yo races to date, seemed to be difficult to beat. The other factor that Trainer, Jason Bridgman, had been mulling over was that DARCI’S DREAM did not have a great turn of foot on a Good 3 racing surface. Accordingly, he hatched a plan to try and steal the race with DARCI’S DREAM by having rider, David Walsh, go to the front and ensure there was a truly run race which would test the field to its limit.

The race plan was followed to the letter by Walsh, who strode to the lead shortly after the start and maintained a strong gallop throughout the run. The long Riccarton straight is a test for any leader but DARCI’S DREAM kept on going down the straight; however in behind was lurking PLATINUM WITNESS, who had already scored a win (Armadillo Stakes) and a fourth ( Group One 2000 Guineas) at Riccarton, both events run over the 1600 metre trip. Battle hardened from those events, she ranged up to DARCI’S DREAM and won the race by a length and a quarter, a very creditable performance. Hot favourite, O’MARILYN was well beaten, finishing seventh. Click HERE to see the race result and Video replay.

Judging by the post race reaction of the eighteen Members of the DARCI’S DREAM Syndicate who were on course, she may as well have won rather than running second. Clearly they all recognised the brave effort that their filly had put in. Syndicate Manager, John Galvin, had this to say after the race “That was a gallant run by this lovely Filly, she is as tough as teak and while she didn’t get the Gold Medal, she put in a great performance for the Silver; she has a lot more in front of her yet. A great result for her wonderful team of owners”

Bred by David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis, DARCI’S DREAM was acquired at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Karaka Select Sale for $45,000 and is owned by the Fortuna Darci’s Dream Syndicate, an ownership Group comprising 29 individuals.

Two Year Old Filly WINDBORNE impressive with debut win

WINDBORNE strides to winning post Elleslie 25th October 2014

WINDBORNE strides to winning post Elleslie 25th October 2014 – Picture by Race Images

FORTUNA 2yo Filly WINDBORNE lived up to her name with an impressive debut win at Ellerslie 25th October. Drawn barrier three at the 880 metre start, WINDBORNE, with Cameron Lammas in the saddle, raced in third place in the running , eased out as they straightened, took a few strides to balance up, but then mounted a strong turn of foot to draw clears to win by three quarters of a length from favourite, Halleloojah. “I was pushing her to the line with hands and heels” said Lammas,” but she had plenty more to give if I had asked her for more.” Click HERE to see race replay

It will be a win Cameron Lammas will remember for a long time as it was just his second race day ride after a 20 month enforced injury break after suffering a badly broken leg in a barrier incident.

FORTUNA Director, John Galvin was naturally delighted about his charge’s success. “She has shown us a lot at the trials and in her work and we were expecting a strong performance today and it’s great to see her live up to our expectations,” he said.

WINDBORNE (Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby), bred by David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis, was acquired by Fortuna Thoroughbred Syndications at the Karaka Select Sale for $100,000 and is a full sister to the three year old Stakes winner DARCI’S DREAM. She is raced by the Fortuna Windborne Syndicate, an ownership group comprising 30 individuals

Fortuna Full Sisters DARCI’S DREAM and WINDBORNE both race Sat 25th October

A big day of racing lies in front of Three Year Old Filly DARCI’S DREAM and her Two Year Old full sister WINDBORNE, this Saturday 25th October. DARCI’S DREAM (Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby) is looking to extend her unbeaten record as a 3yo when she contests the (Listed) Ray Coupland Stakes at Riccarton over 1400 metres.

DARCI'S DREAM with David Walsh aboard  on way to victory Canterbury Belle Stakes

DARCI’S DREAM with David Walsh aboard on way to victory Canterbury Belle Stakes

Already a winner on the Riccarton track when taking out the (Listed) Canterbury Belle Stakes on 20th September, Saturday’s event is a final lead up race for DARCI’S DREAM ahead of her attempt at Group One glory in the NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, for prize money of $300,000, run at Riccarton on 15th November. The highly experienced David Walsh takes the mount and she will run from barrier 3.

Meanwhile at Ellerslie the same day, her full sister, WINDBORNE, makes her race day debut over the 880 metre trip. An impressive trial winner at Te Teko at the end of August, followed up by a strong 2nd placing at the Waipa Trials 14th October, WINDBORNE has been declared ready by her trainer, Jason Bridgman, to make her debut. Senior jockey,  Cameron Lammas, takes the ride from barrier 3.

WINDBORNE in action Waipa Trials 14th october

WINDBORNE in action Waipa Trials 14th october

Ashburton Track Debacle

Fortuna Director John Galvin was at Ashburton on Saturday when the first cancelation occurred and with Jason Bridgman when the photo below was taken. The race meeting was rescheduled but then canceled again today. Why you may ask? Well, the comments below from David Ellis hit the nail right on the head

David Ellis comments on the Ashburton situation as follows:

“I have this to say about the Ashburton track -

There simply was not enough water put on the track in the last two weeks and with the wind that has been experienced, you can see quite clearly that the water wasn’t getting across the whole track. Jason took a photo of the irrigation working on Saturday after the races were called off and you can clearly see with the wind that the water wasn’t getting across the entire track.

Ashburton Track 18th October

Ashburton Track 18th October

The outcome of this is that you get the effect of having two or three metres of rock-hard surface which is absolutely not ideal. The track actually had a penetrometer reading of four once you came out into the middle of the track. Now a lot of people will say “what happens if you water the track and the rain comes?” – meaning that the track is then a six when it should ideally be somewhere between a three and a four. My answer to that is “yes okay it is a six but we are racing – not abandoning race days!”

Sometimes I think that our racing administrators have no idea just how expensive it is to have these cancellations – in our case we transported three horses from Riccarton to Ashburton. We had Jason Bridgman and Matthew Cameron who both flew from Auckland to Christchurch and then had to get cars to drive to Ashburton. Not forgetting a number of our owners who had also made the expensive trip to be on course to cheer their fillies on.

We are really relying on our clubs to deliver on a track that will sustain some rain.

In New Zealand racing generally speaking there are two groups of trainers – one is age group trainers and the other is trainers who specialise in training horses that in general terms do not do a lot of racing until they are four, five or six. To clarify where I am coming from, I guess you would say that Te Akau is an age group stable – we have horses in most of the major 2YO and 3YO races.

However there is the other group and you can think of a few who readily spring to mind – as trainers of mostly older horses – these trainers seldom have horses in major 2YO and 3YO races. Those types of older horses that they train are tough, dour types that can sustain rock-hard tracks in most cases.

However if 2YOs and 3YOs are going to get through the entire season of racing which is what the powers that be should be encouraging, they need to have a track with the give out of it. For example a 3YO today is meant to race at Hawkes Bay in October, run in the Guineas at Riccarton in November, be ready to back up for Christmas racing at Ellerslie in December/January and then hopefully get to the Derby or Oaks in March. Horses can only cope with this sort of preparation if the tracks have some give in them because the modern thoroughbred today simply jars up or goes shin-sore if the tracks are rock-hard. Whereas many older horses seem to be able to handle it.

So you have a situation where half the trainers want the track rock hard and half want the track with the jar out of it. I think the bottom line is that New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing policy should be that for summer racing, the Clubs prepare a track to provide for a reading of 4 for the morning of the races, that dries out by the middle of the card to a 3 – so a penetrometer of say between a 3 and a 4. This way if there is a shower on the day, tracks will sustain racing and the massive costs of commencing a race meeting and having one race before the fixture is abandoned does not keep occurring.

So to the trainers who are against watering I say – you need to look at the bigger picture and we can only avoid cancellations like Saturday by having good irrigation systems that cover the entire track.

The argument about what is best – age group racing versus older horses – is quite one-sided. In New Zealand it is just not financially viable to wait to assess horses until they are 4, 5 or 6YOs. The stake money in New Zealand is all around 2YO and 3YO racing. What I like most of all, is if you get a really good 3YO all the races they are in are at set weights so you don’t have to keep bleating on about whether the handicapper has done a good or bad thing for your horse – you just get on with it.

Of course the big money in New Zealand racing is in races like the NZB 1000 Guineas which has a stake of $300,000, the 2000 Guineas of $400,000, the Oaks which is $300,000 and the Derby which is $750,000 – those set weight races are what we are trying to win.”

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