3 Win Wednesday – The Mighty Spar Captures the Cup
16 Mar 2023
Te Akau trainer Mark Walker secured his third victory on the programme when The Mighty Spar (5 g Savabeel – O’Dianne, by O’Reilly) scored in the $25,000 South Waikato Cup (Rating 86, 2000m) on 15 March at Matamata.
The Mighty Spar filled a similar role when charging home to win the Rating 74 2000 metres last May at Matamata, providing Walker his fifth win on the card, and has now won four races for the Te Akau 2019 Karaka Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), after being purchased by David Ellis CNZM, from the draft of Waikato Stud, at the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Sale.
Last time out, in the Rating 75 2200 metres on 25 February at Otaki, The Mighty Spar did well from a rearward position for third, and again he came from last to beat a small but select field.
Ridden by Te Akau apprentice Hakim Kamaruddin (a1), The Mighty Spar was on the scene quickly in the straight and won well after hitting the front a furlong out.
It was his third win on the home course and he is now unbeaten in both starts over 2000 metres.
Earlier this season, The Mighty Spar was fitted with three runs on the flat before making his hurdles debut over 2800 metres in September at Te Rapa, resulting in a good performance for second, and Walker suggested he could develop further in the jumping role.
“It was a lovely win, off a good third last time, and really positive ride by Hakim,” Walker said.
“Even though we gave him a hurdle start, a variation which also helps keep them interested, I still think he can win more races on the flat, but he could end up a gun jumper too.”
On footing that remained Good4, The Mighty Spar ran 2000 metres in 2:02.6, last 600m in 36, and paid $5.00 & $2.30 on the NZ TAB tote.
Most recently, Te Akau won the South Waikato Cup with Military Step (Tavistock) in 2021, ridden by Joe Kamaruddin.
Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM said: “We’ve won the Cup a few times over the years and the South Waikato Racing Club’s meeting has always been a lucky meeting for us.
“It’s great they have continued support from the racing community in Tokoroa, and Putaruru, and after about 25 years that they’re keeping a good relationship with the Matamata Racing Club.
“The Mighty Spar has benefitted from better tracks in his last few starts and he beat a couple of higher rated horses today.
“He’s been competitive and has beaten some good horses during his career so far. He’s continuing to improve as he matures, and I see no reason why he can’t win more races.”
By Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) winning three-year-old and eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), who proved himself one of the most versatile stallions in Australasia, The Mighty Spar has a lovely cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer on the dam side of Zabeel, sire of Savabeel, and through the sire line of dam-sire O’Reilly.
The Mighty Spar was strapped by Shaun Magee.
Photo credit – www.raceimages.co.nz