Friday Flash – 1st March 2024

Headline News

The NZ KIWI takes off

EL ROCA – an emerging Stallion


Fortuna has no runners this weekend 


Matamata Trackwork

No timed trackwork Fortuna runners this week

Singapore Trackwork 
Saturday 24th Feb

GUN (JAMIL)1000/600-39; KING ARTHUR (YUSOFF)1000/600-38;; KNIPPENBERG (ASLAM)1000/600-39;

Tuesday 27th Feb




From NZ Racing Desk
There were plenty of fireworks in the Karaka sales ring on Tuesday evening at the inaugural NZB Kiwi slot auction, with all nine slots up for grabs far exceeding their $450,000 reserve. The initial $3.5 million prizemoney on offer in next year’s NZB Kiwi (1500m), with a $1 million bonus up for grabs, was enticing for prospective New Zealand and international buyers alike. Group One darling Seachange was the first “hero” racehorse through the ring, representing slot one for the NZB Kiwi, and bidding was spirited from the get-go, with an opening bid of $600,000 which soon exceeded $700,000, and was finally knocked down to the $725,000 bid of Singapore businessman John Chew.

The next four slots had a distinct New Zealand flavour, with slot two going to the $675,000 bid of Kerri Spence Bloodstock and Clotworthy Racing, slot three knocked down to Wexford Stables for $700,000, well-known owner and industry supporter Daniel Nakhle made sure he was in the mix when securing slot four for $675,000, while Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis ensured his ‘King of Karaka’ title wasn’t lost when his $675,000 bid bought slot five.

Te Akau Racing director Karyn Fenton-Ellis was rapt her husband was able to secure a slot, but said it was unnerving going into the auction not knowing what to expect.   “We had spoken to numerous people that we knew were registered, as the New Zealand industry is quite a compact industry, and no one knew what to expect,”she said. “When we come to the Karaka yearling sales, we have a game plan and know exactly what to expect. David Ellis never gets nervous and we know exactly what we want to do, he has bought some very expensive yearlings here. We sort of had a game plan, but it had to be a bit flexible. We talked about this (NZB Kiwi) and we said given Te Akau Racing’s success with (trainers) Sam (Bergerson) and Mark (Walker), and the whole team, we were taking a slot home for our owners.”

Te Akau Racing are hoping to have a number of contenders for what will be the southern hemisphere’s richest three-year-old race, and Fenton-Ellis said they already have a transparent system in place to identify their contender. “We have got a very good process that we have already decided on because we may have a number of contenders,” she said. “We will be very transparent with an independent third-party involved so that every owner and every horse in the Te Akau stable know they are equally considered and it will be a judgment made on merit.”

Australian businessman Ozzie Kheir has been a strong supporter of the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, sourcing many of his racehorses from this side of the Tasman, and he ensured there would be a trans-Tasman element to the NZB Kiwi when he secured slot six for $700,000.

Entain New Zealand took Kiwi punters on a whirlwind ride when securing a slot in last year’s A$20 million The Everest (1200m) and their representative I Wish I Win just came up shy when runner-up to Think About It. They are hoping to replicate that excitement on home soil after securing slot seven for $700,000.

Chief executive Cameron Rodger had been the underbidder on a number of previous slots, so was delighted to finally come out on top with just a couple of lots to go. “I was nervous,” Rodger said post sale. “They were opening and going higher and faster than we ever dreamed of. We had to revise the strategy there. I had the CFO (chief financial officer) next to me so we had to make a few emergency budget increases, but we got there, so we are pretty happy. There were a great number of bidders early on from a different range. We didn’t want to be last, so that was the strategy, but the market found its price really well, so I think everyone will be pretty happy with how it turned out.”

Rodger said the process of filling their slot had already started. “We have had a look at who didn’t get one and we are probably going to start conversations as we speak and that is the beauty of a slot race, it gets you engaged and talking starts right from the dot,” he said. “Hopefully we can have a few on our radar soon.”

Rodger was pleased with how the slot race has been received and he said that has been reinforced by the heavy level of interest in the evening’s auction. “I think the action you saw today is a vote of confidence in the industry about where things are and where things are going,” he said. “That is important to us and we believe in the path that everyone is on at the moment, so bring on 2025, we can’t wait.”

Cambridge trainer Andrew Forsman is hoping eight is his new lucky number after paying $675,000 for the slot, while Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay were intent on securing the final slot of the night, and went to $700,000 to fulfil that. “At the end of the day it is $3.5 million in prizemoney, plus a $1 million bonus. New Zealand has never seen anything like this before,” Brendan Lindsay said. “Jo and I have to be a part of it and we were always going to buy lot nine. We decided that we were going to buy lot nine no matter what happened – last in, first out. We would have gone a bit higher. We made our mind up that we were going to buy the last lot.”

After the dust settled, the nine slots sold for an aggregate of $6.225 million, with an average price of $691,667, and a median of $700,000.

The remaining five slots for the NZB Kiwi have been purchased by Auckland Thoroughbred Racing, Waikato Thoroughbred Racing, RACE, and the Canterbury Jockey Club, with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing holding the final slot for promotional purposes.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Bruce Sharrock was rapt with the outcome of Tuesday’s auction.“Tonight exceeded all expectations and sets a new standard for the New Zealand racing industry,” he said. “The best part was how excited our participants and stakeholders are, and it sets us up extremely well for the future.”

NZTR chairman Cameron George echoed those sentiments and said it was great to see international interest in the concept. “It’s an outstanding result for the industry and we are really proud of the fact that people around the world were participating,” he said. “We are looking forward to the next 12 months and how we can make this race the great event we can have in New Zealand racing.”

New Zealand Bloodstock has been instrumental in the launch of the NZB Kiwi and managing director Andrew Seabrook couldn’t have been happier with Tuesday’s outcome. “It’s the first time that a slot race has been auctioned anywhere in the world. Everyone went into the unknown and what unfolded was quite incredible,” he said. “It’s great to see global participation and there is an amazing buzz here at Karaka.”


Average – $691,667

Aggregate: $6,225,000

Median: $700,000

Slot 1: John Chew – $725,000

Slot 2: Kerri Spence Bloodstock and Clotworthy Racing – $675,000

Slot 3: Wexford Stables – $700,000

Slot 4: Daniel Nakhle – $675,000

Slot 5: Te Akau Racing – $675,000

Slot 6: Ozzie Kheir – $700,000

Slot 7: Entain New Zealand – $700,000

Slot 8: Forsman Racing – $675,000

Slot 9: Cambridge Stud – $700,000

The inaugural running of  the  NZ Kiwi will be run at Ellerslie in March 2025 over 1500 metres for the Stakes of $3.5m, which lifts to $4m in 2026 and $4.5m in 2027 – there is also $1m of bonuses on offer

Readers should note that eligibility for this race is confined to 3yo’s, to any horse that is bred in NZ or any horse that has been sold at a NZ Bloodstock Yearling, Weanling or Ready To Run Sale.
From a Fortuna perspective, the three Yearling Fillies that we have bought at the 2024 Yearling Sale, i.e the Too Darn Hot, El Roca and Written TycoonFillies are all eligible to run in the 2026 edition (shares still available in the Too Darn Hot and the El Roca) – Click HERE to see our Buy Shares page) – notable that our 2yo Filly Our Paramour (by Contributor), whom we purchased at the 2023 Ready To Run  Sale, will be eligible to run in the inaugural 2025 edition. She is fully sold of course, but she had her debut trial at Tauranga 20th Feb, finishing boldly for 3rd and trials again at Taupo 14th March – her ownership group have a lot to look forward to as she develops and matures and gets to the races – there are only 14 runners in the NZ Kiwi, so competition will be fierce for the slot places, with performances during the Spring and early summer of 2024 being critical

EL ROCA – an emerging Stallion

It would be no surprise to anybody that the perennial champion Savabeel is the leading Stallion in New Zealand for the current season. It is a throne he has occupied for several years now. What is somewhat of a surprise is who sits at number two on the list by winners for the current season, it is not Proisir, Tavistock, Per Incanto or Iffraaj, but the Westbury Stud Stallion, El Roca.  Standing for the modest Stud fee (2023 season) of $15,000 he has produced 34 individual winners (including 2 Stakes winners) for the current season, just 3 less than the mighty Savabeel. El Roca(whose own Sire is the Champion Australian Stallion, Fastnet Rock) has been quietly climbing the Stallion ranks in recent seasons, finishing in 10th place by winners in the 2022 season, 4th in the 2023 season and now in 2nd place for the current season.Fortuna has had first hand experience with the progeny of El Roca with our Singapore runner, the 5yo Gelding,ROCKY, who has had 3 wins and prizemoney of $100m in that jurisdiction and now our recent 2024 Karaka Sale, acquisition, the yearling Filly out of Megara (by Encosta de Lago

Our featured Yearling this week is our El Roca – Megara Filly “Meg”
35% Left – Click HERE to order a share online

Note that “Meg” is registered for the Karaka Millions Series and is eligible to contest the Karaka Millions 2yo race in Jan 2025 for $1m prizemoney and the Karaka 3yo Classic in Jan 2026 for $1.5m – she is also eligible for the NZ Kiwi for $4m prizemoney in March 2026

About The Yearling Filly by El Roca out of Megara

This beautiful Filly was acquired by Fortuna Racing and David Ellis at the 2024 NZ Bloodstock Karaka Yearling sale – this after David, in conjunction with fellow thoroughbred selectors, Marcus Corban and Fortuna’s NZ Trainer, Mark Walker, had conducted extensive inspections over the previous six weeks. As always, our focus was very much on type and any Fillies that made the shortlist needed to have ticked several boxes before they could be on the list. We also had a budget and we are firm on not going above budget. Our budget for this year sale was NZ$120,000 and we managed to secure this lovely Filly for NZ$105,000 from her Breeders, Westbury Stud


This Filly’s Sire, El Roca, a Sire son of Champion Australian Stallion, Fastnet Rock, is well proven Stallion with 135 winners to date with several Stakes Winners, including the Group One winners, Traveling Light and Romancing The Moon 

The Dam, Megara (by Encosta De Lago) was a winner in Australia and she is the dam of five foals to race, with four winners, including the Listed winner, Red Striker and the Te Akau trained Accidental Tourist who is Stakes Placed.

Click HERE to view this Filly’s pedigree

Physical type

This Filly, whom we have given the Stable Name “Meg” is a beautiful walking Filly of good size and scope. She certainly ticked all of the usual boxes we look for when trying to select genuine, athletic types. Click HERE to see her parade ahead of the Karaka Sale

Preparation and Racing Plans

“Meg” has enjoyed a four week paddock break at Te Akau Stud in the western Waikato  since the sales –  on 1st March she left the Stud to commence her breaking in process at Cambridge. This usually takes around 5 to 6 weeks and after being broken in she will travel to the Matamata stables of Te Akau Racing,  where under the close eye of Fortuna’s trainers, Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, she will have her first preparation –  this will last about three weeks and after that she will go for a further paddock spell before returning to Matamata for a more complete preparation, which may well culminate in a trial at some stage during the spring of 2024 and ongoing plans for her will be dependent on her physical progression and maturity at that time. Presenting as a physical type who will develop into a strong, powerful 3yo, we will take her along patiently in her early preparation, but as a well grown, early foal, she may well be ready to make her raceday debut in the Autumn of 2025

Here is what our selection Team have to say about this Filly

Te Akau Racing Principal David Ellis says

“John, once again  you have done incredibly well here with a beautiful physical type of Filly here  We loved this Filly when we paraded her – she has a lovely walk and has plenty of size and scope about her. By a Stallion who leaves consistent performers and out of an Encosta de Lago mare, who is out of a Danehill mare, she has a lovely pedigree page and we bought her at a great price – she represents exceptional value for you and your Syndicate Members.”

Te Akau Racing Trainer Mark Walker says 

John, this Filly by El Roca really caught our eye at inspections – she is very athletic with a great walk and we think she could run as an Autumn 2yo but train on nicely to be a lovely 1600m plus type 3yo –  out of a mare by  Encosta de Lago who is a Champion Broodmare sire, the dam herself had had four winners out of five to the races including one that is a Stakes winner and one who is Stakes placed – she is a ripper”

 Syndicator’s view (John Galvin)

“We love buying Fillies who present as real athletes at inspections and have the size and scope to develop into middle distance/staying types as 3yo’s – this Filly by El Roca certainly ticked all of the boxes we look for and we were very happy to secure her within budget ”

Karaka Millions Race Series

Note that “Meg” is t registered for the Karaka Millions Race Series. This means she is eligible to run in the Karaka Millions 2yo event over 1200m for $1m run at Ellerslie in January of 2025 and the Karaka Millions 3yo event over 1600m for $1.5m run at Ellerslie in January of 2026 – she is also eligible to run in the NZB Kiwi – the new “slot” race for 3yos over 1500m for prizemoney of NZ$3.5m

Disclosure Statement & Agreement

View and/or Download the Disclosure Statement and the Syndicate Agreement for MEG

Read the Declaration.


  • Shares available right down to 1%.
  • 10% share $16,000, 5% share $8,000, 2.5% share $4,000, 1% share $1600 – with ongoing costs from 1 April 2024 @$44 per month per each 1% share
  • Initial Capital includes Purchase Price, NZ GST, Promoters Fees, Insurance to 31 Jan 2025, Karaka Millions Race Series Fee and working capital of over $7,000
  • Monthly ongoing costs from 1st April 2024 – from that date ongoing costs are – 10% share $440 per month – 5% share $220 per month – 2.5% share $110 per month – 1% share $44 per month.
  • Monthly ongoing costs can alternatively be paid up to 12 months in advance as an option for subscribers by Bank Payment or Credit Card
Click HERE to order a share online or call/text John 021 921 460 if you would like further information