Savabeel tops the Tauranga bill

Super sire Savabeel dominated the finish of today’s Gr 2 Tauranga Stakes with the grand mare Soriano getting the better of Kawi. While the latter may have been unlucky, the winner was due a change of fortune.
“She is a very, very good mare and she should have won at Auckland as well,” said Graeme Rogerson, who prepares the six-year-old with his wife Debbie. He was referring to the mare’s previous third placing in the Gr.3 Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes at Ellerslie where she was denied a clear run.
Soriano is a two-time Group One winner and Rogerson is keen to give the six-year-old the chance to advance her record at that level in the coming weeks.
“She got served by Pins, but she was empty so we sent her back and they are going to test her next week to see if she’s in foal,” he said. “I might look at the Captain Cook Stakes and there’s the Zabeel Classic, but we’ll see how she comes through this race first.”
Soriano settled at the back of the field and, once clear, she finished strongly under Grant Cooksley to win by a short neck. Runner-up Kawi was stuck in traffic and got home powerfully among the rail once clear.
The WS graduate Gracehill had earlier made her mark at Tauranga with a smart win in the lower grade sprint. The daughter of O’Reilly and the Gr 2 Concorde Handicap winner Irish Colleen was purchased by trainer Roger James for $115,000 out of the Matamata farm’s 2013 Select Sale draft at Karaka.

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