Million-dollar filly wins dramatic Cup Day finish

Akari's owner Neil Werrett (4th from right), trainer Brad Widdup (with trophy) & jockey James McDonald celebrate with family & friends in the winner's circle at Flemington. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

There were shades of another Arrowfield graduate daughter of Snitzel carrying Neil Werrett’s silks in the dramatic charge for victory that Akari launched in the $175,000 VRC Desirable S. 1400m LR a couple of hours after Vow And Declare won the Melbourne Cup for Australia. 

That was Snitzerland who made a remarkable 2YO debut at Flemington on Cup day eight years ago and very nearly won the VRC Ottawa S. LR. She went on to build a stellar $1.9 million career, winning the VRC Lightning S. G1 and five other Group races. 

Although she’s a different style of filly, Akari looks capable of progressing to a similar level and if she can, she will not lack on the score of finishing speed or determination. 

Akari’s jockey James McDonald was effusive about her performance. “Gee, I’m proud of her effort. She jumped from the widest stall, wide throughout and then she had the audacity to fight like a tiger. She didn’t want to be beat, this filly.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club-sponsored feature is the sixth stakes success for Snitzel this season, following Akari’s maiden stakes win at Randwick on 19 October and the work of Exhilarates, Redzel and Wayupinthesky earlier in the Spring. 

Akari was bred by Arrowfield’s highly successful partnership with Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and she has a pedigree of global significance as the daughter of a three-time Champion Sire and Asterix (by Neo Universe) whose first, Japanese-born foal Aerolithe is a Group 1-winning miler, rated behind only Almond Eye, Lys Gracieux & Vivlos among 4YO+ mares in Japan. This is also the family of Champion Sprinter-Miler Mikki Isle, whose first Australian yearlings sell this season.

Half-sister to a Group 1 winner and now a dual stakeswinner, Akari is one of Snitzel’s 27 $1 million+ yearlings. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Akari was purchased for $1.05 million from Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter consignment by Jadeskye Racing, her trainer Brad Widdup & Andrew Williams Bloodstock, with Neil Werrett subsequently  joining the ownership. Asterix produced a second Snitzel filly at Arrowfield last year before returning to Japan.

Sure Knee strides to a 2.75 length victory at Flemington for owner-breeders Ingham Racing, Chris Waller & Kerrin McEvoy. (PHOTO: Gary Wild)

Akari was the cherry on top of a rewarding day for Snitzel, as she completed a Flemington double opened with a dominant win by Ingham Racing’s 4YO mare Sure Knee (ex Shawnee Girl by Encosta de Lago) in the $125,000 VRC TAB Trophy over 1700 metres. Meanwhile at Randwick, Mr Snitzel himself, Gerald Ryan sent out Mansa Musa (ex One Sweet Day by Elusive Quality) for his third win from 6 starts.

Latest news

The Sapphire goes to Snitzel’s Wee Nessy The Sapphire goes to Snitzel’s Wee Nessy

Snitzel's 4YO daughter Wee Nessy sealed an edition of The Championships that Arrowfield will long remember with a terrific victory in the Sapphire S. G2...


The Autumn Sun celebrates first-crop Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun celebrates first-crop Group 1 winner

Autumn Angel's emphatic Australian Oaks G1 victory is a major milestone for her sire The Autumn Sun, the best racing colt by Redoute's Choice...


Dundeel dominates the Doncaster Mile Dundeel dominates the Doncaster Mile

3YO colts Celestial Legend and Militarize gave Dundeel an unforgettable 1-3 finish in one of Australia's greatest races, the Doncaster Mile G1 at Randwick...