Archer Equine Legends on Parade at Te Rapa

Tim Barton for LOVERACING.NZ
3 February 2023

Bostonian was something of a prophet without honour at home.

The high-class Waikato sprinter won 10 races from 24 starts, including three at Group I level, and earned almost $2 million in stakes.

However, he reserved his best for his trips to Australia and tended to fly under the radar at home.

Six of his wins, including his three Group I triumphs, came in Australia and five of his seven black-type wins came across the Tasman.

Bostonian’s Group I wins – all at weight-for-age - came in the Doomben 10,000 (1200m) and the Kingsford-Smith Cup (1200m), in successive starts in Brisbane in 2019, and in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick, in Sydney, in 2020. He was also a runner-up at Group I level in Melbourne.

It is rare for a New Zealand-trained galloper to measure up to the best sprinters in Australia and rarer still to win three Group I open sprints at distances under 1400m.

It is a record that would normally ensure that horse became a major Horse of the Year contender, but Bostonian had the misfortune to be up against champion mare Melody Belle, who won 14 Group I races, in both the Sprinter-Miler and Horse of the Year categories.

Bostonian earned a vote for Horse in the Year in the season he won two Group I races in Australia and eight votes for Champion Sprinter-Miler but both categories were dominated by Melody Belle. Bostonian was also a finalist in the sprinter-miler category the following year.

Bostonian fans will be able to see the horse parade on Legends Day at Te Rapa, on February 11. He will be joined by eight others, including his close relation and dual Horse of the Year winner Mufhasa, who raced in the same colours as Bostonian.

Bostonian had two starts at Te Rapa and was runner-up in the Group I BCD Sprint, beaten a head by Melody Belle, in his last appearance at the track. The Jimmy Choux gelding was trained by Tony Pike and owned and bred by David Archer and his family, under the Archer Equine banner.

No Group I win comes easily in Australia and Bostonian beat two top-class sprinters when winning the A$1 million Doomben 10,000 in Brisbane in 2019. The minor placegetters were Osborne Bulls, Dollar For Dollar and Nature Strip.

Nature Strip, at least in Australia, has been rated as the world’s best sprinter for some time, while Osborne Bulls matched the best in a good era for sprinters. Osborne Bulls did not win a Group I race but was runner-up five times, including the Newmarket, TJ Smith and Lightning Stakes, and ran third in the Everest.

The Doomben 10,000 was reduced from 1350m to 1200m in 2017 and the winners since then - Redzel, English, Bostonian, Eduardo and Mazu – represent a quality lineup.

Only two other New Zealand-trained horses have won the Doomben 10,000 in the last 75 years. Axeman, a dual Group I winner in Australia, was successful in 1983 and Second Earl won in 1959. Second Earl is better known for being one of only two horses to beat Tulloch at weight-for-age, when winning the George Main Stakes, with Tulloch second, in 1960.

Mufhasa, who was a $50,000 yearling buy for David Archer won 10 Group I races, a tally bettered by only three other NZ-trained gallopers – Melody Belle, Sunline and Rough Habit – since the group rating system was introduced in New Zealand in 1970s.

Mufhasa was NZ Horse of the Year in 2009 and again three years later. He loved to compete and won 20 of his 62 starts, with stake earnings of more than $3.6 million. He raced for eight successive seasons and was prepared for all of his wins by Stephen McKee.

Sam Spratt had a memorable partnership with Mufhasa, winning 13 races on the horse.

Mufhasa will be familiar to Te Rapa regulars, as he made four appearances in the Group I Waikato (BCD) Sprint for two wins, second and a third.

He also won the Telegraph at Trentham twice and had two Group I wins in Australia, in the 2011 Toorak (1600m) and the 2012 Futurity (1400m), both at Caulfield.

The Pentire gelding was runner-up in the Group I Ryder Stakes in Sydney as an eight-year-old and finished his career with a Group I second at Hastings as a nine-year-old.

He is enjoying retirement in the care of Amy Doran, who was his strapper for most of his race career.

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