Two year old stars to go head to head in Sires’ Produce Stakes

Sword Of Osman wins. PIC: Trish Dunell.

Sword Of Osman and Avantage will renew their Group One rivalry at Awapuni later this month.

The talented two-year-old stablemates are confirmed runners in the Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on March 31.

The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained pair have met twice with Avantage taking top honours when winning the Karaka Million (1200m) before Sword Of Osman evened the score with his defeat of the filly in Saturday’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

“This season has been full of thrills – we have quinellaed the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, the Karaka Million and now the Sistema with horses I have bought, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.

Consideration had been given to a trip to Sydney for Sword Of Osman, but he will now be given the chance at Awapuni to complete an elite level double.

“We think he’s probably six months away in his development so we will give him one more run before he goes to the paddock,” Ellis said.

“When he returns we’ll be getting him ready for the Hawke’s Bay Guineas and the 2000 Guineas at Christchurch.

“Avantage has come through the race really well and if we’re still happy with her in the next few days she will go to the Sires’ Produce as well. We want to give her the opportunity to get a Group One win.

“Any easing of the track would suit her, although that wouldn’t suit Sword Of Osman.”

Meanwhile, Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) runner-up Mongolianconqueror will bolster the stable’s defence of their Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) title following Gingernuts’ success in 2017.

“Mongolianconqueror’s going over tomorrow and he’ll run in the Guineas and the Australian Derby,” Ellis said.
“We’ll have two in both of them with Age Of Fire the other. He’s come through Saturday’s race very well and we’re looking forward to getting him over more ground.”

The Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner finished 11th behind Kementari in the Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in his Australian debut, making good ground late to be beaten less than six-lengths.