Ace juvenile dominates in Starway Stakes

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20 Apr 2024

By Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Exciting juvenile Domain Ace maintained his perfect record with a dominant win in Saturday’s Listed TAB Starway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

The son of Swiss Ace made a strong impression on debut earlier this month at Otaki, warranting co-trainer Graeme Rogerson to consider backing up in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) the following Saturday.

Rogerson elected to bypass the Trentham showpiece in favour of targeting the Starway Stakes, where Domain Ace flew under the radar in betting starting at $11.30 on the TAB tote, with two-time Group Three performer Love Poem closing a hot favourite at $1.60.

Domain Ace was a clear last at the jump, forcing jockey Craig Grylls to track three-wide and cover the most ground of any in the juvenile feature. Love Poem loomed large at the top of the straight but was no match for Domain Ace as the gelding scorched down the middle of the track to score by 1&½ lengths.

Rogerson has held the two-year-old in high regard throughout his preparation and believes there is plenty more to come.

“He’s a very nice horse, and still very green and learning to be a racehorse,” he said.

“Craig said he missed the start, he doesn’t quite know what he’s doing yet, but he is something special.

“The trials were cancelled, and he had to back up, so we didn’t go to the Group One, but I think he’s well and truly up to that company.”

Rogerson plans to press onto the Listed Waikato Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa on May 4, with the Listed Staphanos At Novara Park Champagne Stakes (1600m) a long-term possibility in boosting his $67,860 in stakes.

“We are pretty confident that he’s a Group horse. He’s going to run in two weeks’ time at Te Rapa and maybe in the Champagne Stakes as well,” Rogerson said.

Out of an unraced Hussonet mare Internet, Domain Ace was bred by Gerry Harvey and was set to be sold at the 2023 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales by Rogerson Bloodstock.

After Domain Ace was passed in, Rogerson elected to train the two-year-old himself alongside wife Debbie and granddaughter Bailey, while retaining part-ownership alongside several long-time clients including Merv and Meg Butterworth and Craig Leishman. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Photo by: Kenton Wright (Race Images)