The Bjorn Baker-trained Arapaho made the step from a Listed win at Canberra to Group 1 winner when claiming the Tancred Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
The six-year-old became the fourth European-bred horse to win the Tancred in the last six years, and the 18th Group 1 winner sired by Ballylinch Stud’s Prix du Jockey Club and Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Lope De Vega.
He travelled smoothly into the race before being unleashed by rider Rachel King in the final two furlongs, overhauling fellow European import King Frankel before holding off the late challenge of A$4 favourite Montefilia by Kermadec.
“Absolutely thrilled. He’s been a great horse,” Baker said. “This time last year we couldn’t get a rider in a benchmark 78 race, he was really struggling.”
Arapaho has five wins from 24 starts in Australia, and finished 11th in last year’s Melbourne Cup behind another French-bred in Gold Trip, a son of Outstrip. The gelding will now target the Group 1 Sydney Cup before Baker plots a return to the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November.
“What he did last time in terms of getting to the Melbourne Cup, he just kept improving, improving,” Baker said. “He was 15th-up into the Melbourne Cup, so I think we keep him going and I’ll have him about 16th-up this time.”
Arapaho, a €140,000 buy for Baker and agents Jim Clarke and Mark McStay from the 2020 Arqana Deauville Autumn Mixed Sale, scored a convincing win in the Canberra Cup last time out, and also has wins in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup at Randwick and last year’s Listed Grafton Cup since his import to Australia, where he is owned by a Carl Holt-led syndicate.
In a seven-start European career, Arapaho was trained by Andre Fabre and won three times, earning a Listed success in the Prix du Pont Neuf at Longchamp before finishing sixth in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
Arapaho was bred by Ecurie Peregrine and is the first foal out of the Listed Prix Dahlia winner Alzubra, a daughter of Dansili. All three of her offspring to race have earned blacktype; she is also the dam of Alula Borealis, who emulated her dam by winning the Saint-Cloud listed contest last year, and the winner and Listed-placed Athbascan by Almanzor.
He is one of 106 individual stakes winners for his former shuttle sire Lope De Vega from 1,115 starters. The Ballylinch Stud resident has a particularly good success rate with Danehill-line broodmare sires and Arapaho is the third Group 1 winner by the son of Shamardal out of a daughter of Dansili.
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by ANZ Bloodstock News Staff– Originally appeared on March 25BACK TO NEWS