Devise breaks through for first group 1 in Haunui Farm WFA Classic

Devise breaks through for her first group 1. PIC: Race Images.

Good things come to those who wait as the connections of Devise found at Hastings on Saturday.

A multiple black type place getter, the mare broke through at the highest level when triumphant in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m).

“She really does deserve this,” trainer Shaune Ritchie said. “It was a bit easier without Bonneval here, she’s been a bridesmaid to her a couple of times.

“It helped that a few of the favoured runners drew wide, but I’m delighted for the horse. She always puts in and she’s a lovely mare.”

Runner-up to the side-lined Bonneval in last season’s Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), Devise was given an economical trip behind the pace by Michael Coleman who brought her with a well-timed run in the straight.

“It was a beautiful ride, he put her in the right place and it’s a terrific result,” Ritchie said.

A half-sister to the multiple Group Two winner Zurella, Devise is a daughter of Darci Brahma and is raced her breeders The Oaks Stud.

“We’ll have to map out a programme now and see if we can get some more black type for the mare,” Ritchie said.

Devise’s breakthrough Group One victory came at the expense of Consensus with Travimyfriend third ahead of Brilliant Shine and Start Wondering, who covered extra ground from his outside gate.

“There was good speed and she travelled up peaches and cream before I let her rip,” Coleman said. “She’s super consistent and deserved a big one.”

Devise completed a memorable day for the stable following Excalibur’s success in the Aquashield New Zealand St Leger Trial (2100m) ahead of a tilt at the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m).

“He’s a bit one-paced, but he keeps going for the two miles should be ideal for him,” Ritchie said.