The running of the Gr.2 Hawkes Bay Guineas confirmed that the late Atlante will have strong representation in both the Gr.1 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in November. Callsign Mav was brave in defeat running a gallant 2nd to the highly touted Catalyst in the 3-year-old feature. Following on from his dynamic victory at the same venue 3 weeks earlier, he proved he was near the top of the current 3-year-old crop leaving a big gap back to 3rd. Trainer John Bary was thrilled with his first performance at group level and is adamant he will be a better horse over the 1600m at Riccarton.
In the same race Riva Capri, Atlante’s stakes-winning daughter ran a credible 4th just missing out on a placing behind the top colts and geldings in the country. This will prove extremely strong form when she drops back to her own sex in the Gr.1 1000 Guineas, her main target this spring. Mapperley Stud’s decision to keep hold of a number of Atlante’s last crop to be targeted at the NZB Ready to Run Sale in November looks to be a smart one following these impressive results early on in spring. "I have always been confident these Atlante's would come out and run as early 3 year-olds, just like their old man did when he won the 2000 Guineas. We have some nice Atlante colts in work at the moment and we look forward to seeing them at the trials" Simms Davison said.