Savabeel The Star Of The Auckland Show

Savabeel took top billing at Ellerslie this afternoon with his progeny showing class and versatility to highlight a premier day.

The WS stallion’s homebred daughter Diademe returned from a break for major honours in the Gr 3 Westbury Classic as a forerunner to Sangster’s victory in the Gr 1 Auckland Cup and in between Ray’s Girl finished runner-up in the Gr 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase.

A $50,000 Premier Sale yearling in 2010, Diademe has now won four of her eight starts for owner Scott Richardson and a trip to Sydney is now under consideration. “She’s still in the Doncaster in Australia, although she would have to run well in her next couple,” Cambridge co-trainer Murray Baker said. “She’s got class and is very strong and Te Aroha now looks a good option for her.”

Diademe looked a potential top-liner in her first preparation when she finished runner-up to Shez Sinsational in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes off the back of a Rating 75 win at New Plymouth. The four-year-old then ran third in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day before she was turned out. “She trialled well at Matamata last week and I thought she would go very close at the weights today,” Baker said. “She’s got good quality, but I wouldn’t like to be married to her – she’s one tough cookie!”

The four-year-old led all the way today in the hands of Opie Bosson, who has no doubt she cut it in the top grade. “No-one wanted to lead and she was always travelling beautifully,” he said. “She’s a class mare and definitely a Group One horse.” Diademe is the second foal of the O’Reilly mare Bling – her first Shanstar (Pins) has also been a winner – and is from the family of Group One performer Starcent (Centaine).

Sangster added the Auckland Cup to his previous Gr 1 wins in the VRC Derby and Darci Brahma International and he did it in outstanding fashion. “Barrier draws win races and he got in the box seat, got off the fence at the right time and it was terrific,” co-trainer Trent Busuttin said. “It’s a bit of a relief, I don’t usually get nervous and have low expectations – I felt a bit of pressure but we pulled it off.”

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