Savabeel mare Atishu stars on big stage


Atishu doubled her tally of top-flight titles Saturday afternoon when she produced a sublime performance to down a star-studded field over 2000 metres in the G1 Champions S. at Flemington.

The glamour mare proudly flew the Waikato Stud flag when she added the weight-for-age feature to her record, which now boasts nine wins, including last season’s G1 Queen of the Turf S. at Randwick.

The Chris Waller-trained daughter of Savabeel was given a cosy run back in the field by rider James McDonald before picking up ground near the turn, and she lengthened stride impressively in the run

“It was an amazing race, the way it worked out, and she was great,” Waller said.

“James got her into a beautiful position and into a great rhythm; she’s very good.”

Atishu had drawn serious attention to her Champions’ S. prospects when she made up plenty of ground to finish runner-up on Melbourne Cup Day in the G1 Empire Rose S. over 1600 metres
behind Pride Of Jenni, who also won the G1 Champions Mile earlier today.

“Her run over the mile was phenomenal, and the form has been franked,” McDonald said.

“She got out to her right trip and has produced a top run; it’s been an absolutely outstanding carnival.”

Atishu was purchased out of breeder Waikato Stud’s draft at Karaka by Go Racing’s Albert Bosma for $260,000 and was a dual black-type winner from Stephen Marsh’s Cambridge stable before
relocating to Waller.

“It’s been great fun, but there was a period when she wouldn’t jump from the barriers and looked like it could be over, but Chris got her back,” Bosma said.

“She has got a mind of her own, but she has got a turn of foot that few horses have. She loves Flemington, and 2000 metres suits her down to the ground.”

Atishi is a sister to the Waikato Stud-raced G3 Desert Gold S. winner Mazzolino, with their dam, the No Excuse Needed mare Posy, who won two races.

Posy is a sister to the three-time Group 1 winner Daffodil from the family of top-flight winners Aegon and Good Faith.

Posy also has an unraced juvenile sister to Atishu named Dream All Day.

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