Three Derby contenders for Haunui stallion Iffraaj
Haunui Farm stallion Iffraaj (GB) (Zafonic) looks to have a strong hand in the upcoming Group One Vodafone New Zealand Derby with three contenders set to take their place in the field for the million dollar classic.
Waikato Guineas-winner Wyndspelle (NZ) - pictured - will head the three-pronged attack for Iffraaj from the stable of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs. The last-start winner will head straight to the Derby with a mid-week gallop at Avondale this week to assist in his preparation.
Multiple stakes performer Jon Snow (NZ) will be part of the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman challenge for the blue riband event. Runner-up in the Hawkes Bay Guineas, he was third in the Group Two Great Northern Guineas on New Years Day, third in the Group One Levin Classic and third again in the Listed Karaka Million 3YO Mile. A horse that has had very little luck in each of his starts to date, a good barrier and a decent run in transit would see him in strong contention.
Iffraaj's final Derby runner stormed into contention with an impressive win in the Group Two Avondale Guineas on Saturday. Carrying the Te Akau colours, Gingernuts seemed to have given away any opportunity of a win when missing the kick by at least four lengths but under a tremendous ride from Jonathan Parkes, he hit the lead with 150m to run and ran away with the final major lead-up to the main event on the 4th of March.
"It's been exciting to sit a watch these three-year-olds perform the way that they have over the past couple of months," said Haunui Farm's Managing Director, Mark Chitty. "And Saturday's win was made even more special given Gingernuts was bred by the late Rex Fell and his son William of Goodwood Stud. They have been with us in Iffraaj right from the start and I'm sure Rex would have been pretty happy with Saturday's result," he said. "Gingernuts is Iffraaj's fifth stakes winner for the season and with a performance like that over 2100m, it is no surprise the Te Akau team have decided to put up a late nomination for the Derby."
Joining Wyndspelle and Gingernuts as stakes winners for Iffraaj for the season are The Soultaker (G3 Bonecrusher Stakes), Maybe Miami (Listed Timaru Stakes) and Lady Zafira (Listed Pegasus Handicap) whilst he also has Jon Snow, Turn Me Loose and New York Minute on his list of stakes performers.
- Haunui Farm