Group One-winning sprinter Waitak is continuing a proud and successful association between veteran breeder and owner Colin Devine and the O’Sullivan family.
Waitak produced a stunning performance to claim top honours in the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) at Pukekohe for Devine and trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott on New Year’s Day, and they are hoping to continue that success at Te Rapa next month.
“He’ll run next in the BCD Sprint (G1, 1400m), it will be a space between runs but he won’t mind that and he does like Te Rapa,” O’Sullivan said.
“It worked last time so he does go very well on the fresh side. We’ll wait to see how he performs next time before we make any more plans.”
O’Sullivan was delighted to repay Waitak’s owner at the highest level as 30 years ago he rode Devine’s high-class staying mare Miltak to win the 1994 Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).
“We go back a long way and after that I went to Hong Kong and she then won the Gr.1 BMW (then a A$1 million race) at Rosehill with Brian York in the saddle,” he said.
Miltak was sold to Devine and seven of his friends from the Milford and Takapuna areas, hence the name of the mare, by former northern commentator Keith Haub, also mine host at McGinty’s Bar on Waiheke Island at that time and was trained by O’Sullivan’s father and older brother Paul.
Devine is now resident at a rest home after living on his Waiheke property, named Ballysaggart after the family farm in Ireland, for many years.
He watched Waitak’s stunning Railway victory in the company of his family and was also able to hear the on-course victory speeches.
They were relayed from Pukekohe via the cellphone of his niece Colleen Thompson, who with husband John operates Rich Hill Stud – the home of Waitak’s champion sire Proisir and the four-year-old’s dam sire Shocking.
The story has not yet finished as the family have a two-year-old full-brother to Waitak, called Crackercol, to race with Wexford Stables.
-Article by Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk