Entriviere a breeding triumph for Grays

By Richard Edmunds

5 Jan 2022

Entriviere a breeding triumph for GraysSistema Railway winner Entriviere, pictured cruising to the line under Opie Bosson, is another feath

New Zealand’s latest sprinting superstar has come from an unusual recipe that combines two stallions renowned as sources of stamina, along with a pair of recent recipients of the NZTR Outstanding Contribution to Racing Award.
Entriviere’s scintillating victory in Saturday’s Gr. 1 Sistema Railway at Ellerslie was the seventh win in an exceptional 11-start career for the Te Akau Racing speedster, who had also previously won the Gr. 2 Sheraco Stakes in Sydney as well as another two Group Three sprints at Ellerslie.
She is by the late Tavistock, a former headliner of the Cambridge Stud roster who was a dual Group One winner at 1400m but best-known for producing Derby heroes such as Tarzino, Tavago, Werther and Johnny Get Angry.
Her dam-sire is Golan, who won the 2400-metre King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes before siring the likes of Victoria Derby winner Kibbutz and Group-winning stayers My Scotsgrey, Mosquito and Le Baron while shuttling to Windsor Park Stud. He spent the latter stages of his stud career as a sire of British and Irish National Hunt horses.
For those two ingredients to produce a mare as brilliant as Entriviere may seem surprising, but not to Kevin Gray, who bred her in partnership with his wife Kathleen. A doyen among training ranks in the lower North Island with over 1,000 victories to his name, as well as a production line of outstanding former apprentice jockeys, Gray was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Racing Award in 2020.
The Grays bred Entriviere from a 2015 mating of their Golan mare Marcey’s Belt to Tavistock. The resulting filly foal caught the astute eye of Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis, whose achievements as a syndicator and perennial leading buyer at Karaka earned him an Outstanding Contribution accolade of his own in 2017.
Gray opted to sell Entriviere privately to Ellis and has followed her progress keenly ever since.
“Her Group One win was a huge thrill for us, and a great way to kick off the new year,” Gray said. “Now I hope she can carry on with it for Jamie Richards and Te Akau. Without a big operation like them buying horses off us and our clients, a lot of us would be in the doldrums.
“I’ve been in the game for 50-odd years now and been involved with some really nice horses over the years. I took Daffodil to the Melbourne Cup and won a million –dollar race in New Zealand with Legs – those were special thrills, and now this has been another one. Racing owes me nothing, and I owe racing a lot.
“I’m only a small breeder, but I’ve been lucky enough to breed a few nice horses over the years. Entriviere is high up on that list now. She was always a quality filly, and considering what she’s gone on to do, maybe I should have kept her!
“I’m pleased that she ended up with Jamie. I got to know him several years ago when he brought a horse up from the South Island, back when his father (Paul Richards) was training down there, and he stayed with me for a few days. He’s become a good friend, and I’m sorry to see him leaving New Zealand racing later this year, but I hope he does well in Hong Kong.”
Marcey’s Belt is a half-sister to the Gr. 2 Light Fingers Stakes winner Adrift and Karaka Million victor Xiong Feng, and she was a $35,000 yearling purchase from Karaka in 2007. From a 21-start career for Gray between 2008 and 2010, Marcey’s Belt won three races over 1200 and 1400 metres.
She is now the dam of five winners from six foals to race. Entriviere is the standout performer, while Satin Belt (by Power) won three races, placed in the Listed Castletown Stakes and is now part of Cambridge Stud’s broodmare band.
The first foal from Marcey’s Belt to race was Granite Ridge (Tavistock), a five-race winner between 1400 and 2100 metres, while her 2015 foal Welcome Back (Zed) won over 1600 metres. Gray has retained the promising three-year-old filly Gucci Belt (Burgundy), who has had two starts this season for a win and an unlucky placing. She holds a nomination for the Gr. 1 Levin Classic in March.
Marcey’s Belt later returned to Burgundy and produced another filly, set to go through the ring as Lot 400 during the Book 1 session of Karaka 2022. She will be offered by Kelly Van Dyk’s Prima Park.
“Marcey’s Belt has been a good mare to me,” Gray said. “She won three races, but probably could have won a couple more with a bit of luck.
“I’ve got a three-year-old half-sister to Entriviere in work with me here, Gucci Belt, who placed in her first start before winning her second. I think she’s a really, really nice horse.
“I also quite like the Burgundy yearling that’s going to Karaka. I’ll be interesting to see what happens with her. She’s ended up staying in the north for a bit longer than I originally planned because of the sale being pushed back to March, but I know that she’s in very good hands there.”