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Callsign Mav proved too strong for his opposition in winning the Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on Saturday but it was a bittersweet moment for those involved at Mapperley Stud. The victory marked the first Gr.1 winner for Mapperley's ill-fated stallion Atlante and brought back a flood of emotions for Stud Master Simms Davison.

Atlante, a son of Fastnet Rock, won the stallion-making Gr.1 1000 Guineas in 2013 for leading trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman. Retiring to Mapperley Stud in 2015, he covered a quality book of mares in his first season and his first crop of foals generated plenty of excitement within the industry.

However, Mapperley Stud was shocked by the death of Atlante halfway through his second stud season in 2016. “We were absolutely crushed when we lost Atlante. He was a beautiful stallion and a great addition to our stallion roster. He was an absolute pleasure to have at Mapperley” said Davison. “He was a really exciting young sire, he had just left a brilliant first crop of foals and people were out there bragging about quality he had put into his offspring”.. Trained by John Bary, Callsign Mav was presented in excellent order for his first up assignment as a 4-year-old. In the trusted hands of leading jockey Jonathan Riddell, he slotted in perfectly behind a hot speed and burst clear when a gap presented itself to bring up a memorable victory.

“Once he hit the front and got into his rhythm with those big strides, the whole team at Mapperley was riding him home. What a huge thrill, congratulations to everybody involved, we always knew he had a Gr.1 winner in him” said Davison.

Callsign Mav had been competitive at Gr.1 level as a 3 year-old with strong performances in the 2000 Guineas and Levin Classic. He becomes Atlante’s third stakes winner from only 38 runners. Atlante has established an impressive record of 7.9% stakes winners to runners, which would have put him among the best sires in New Zealand. His other stakes winners include the Jamie Richards trained Star of Bombay who is being targeted at leading mare races over the summer and Riva Capri who has been transferred to Kris Lees' stable in Australia. “He is proving to be a massive loss to our industry and his record now speaks for itself. Last year he was the leading 2nd season sire by stakes winners to runners. He would have been one of the most exciting young stallions in New Zealand, it’s a massive shame” said Davison. “We still have a couple of nice 3 year-olds showing plenty in work, we will be taking them to the trials where we expect them to put their best foot forward”.

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