VRC Oaks Aspirants Target NZB Ethereal StakesThursday, Oct 18, 2012
Karaka continues its support of the Melbourne Spring Carnival on Saturday sponsoring one of the main lead up races to the VRC Oaks, the A$120,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
A field of 16 three-year-old fillies will contest the NZB Ethereal Stakes on Group 1 Caulfield Cup Day, a race that was named in honour of New Zealand’s 2001 Caulfield Cup winner Ethereal (Rhythm).
Ethereal wins the 2001 Melbourne Cup
Bred and raced by Pencarrow Stud, Ethereal won some of Australia’s feature Group 1 races including the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, BMW Stakes and Queensland Oaks, earning just shy of A$5 million in stakes.
With a majority of the fillies nominated for the Group 1 VRC Oaks, Saturday’s field is headed by one of four Karaka graduates, the Danny O'Brien trained Donna Cattiva (Captain Rio). A stakes winner last season, the filly is a sister to the Group 1 winning two-year-old Il Quello Veloce and comes into the race third up from a spell. She will jump from barrier 13 with Nash Rawiller to ride.
Danny O'Brien will saddle another NZB graduate in Keep De Rose (Keeper) who has had just two starts, winning her last appearance at Ballarat over 1600 metres, and will take a considerable step up in company from the tough draw of 16.
Mick Price’s Di Lusso (Lonhro) also carries the Karaka tag and is another that will take a step up in class after running fourth at Ballarat over a mile at her last start.
The Peter Moody trained Nextess (Stratum) and Andrew Noblet trained Operation Twist (Testa Rossa) both come into the race off last start seconds. Both fillies are lightly raced, having had just 10 starts between them, and will make their black-type debuts from barriers 9 and 4 respectively.
The Karaka graduate Kate (St Reims) made her Australian debut in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes for trainers Vanessa & Wayne Hillis at her last start and will appreciate the step up in trip to the 2000 metres on Saturday. She has been handed a tough draw of 12 and will be ridden by Glen Boss.
Darley filly Cameo (Shamardal) comes into the race with good credentials for Peter Snowden having run a good fourth in the Edward Manifold Stakes at her last start, as does Transonic (Casino Prince) for John Thompson who has won her last two starts, her most recent at Mornington by over two lengths.
Anthony Cummings’ Fastnet Rock filly Ireland's Teardrop and Guy Walter’s Zuccotto (Quest for Fame) both broke maiden ranks two starts ago but were unplaced in their last races, with Ireland's Teardrop finishing behind the boys in the Listed Dulcify Stakes over 1900 metres.
An interesting runner in the field is Summerbliss (Danehill Dancer) who will take her place after winning her debut at Ballarat by almost two lengths for trainer Michael Kent, beating race rival Nextess. She will have the services of top jockey Craig Williams from the ideal barrier of 6.
The Robbie Griffiths trained Madam Archer (Red Dazzler) and Matthew Hyland’s Ten Black (Al Maher) also head to Saturday’s race after winning performances, with Madam Archer romping home at Wangaratta by just under four lengths over a mile in late September. Both fillies will be making their metropolitan and black-type debuts in the New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes.
Fillies Alzora (Redoute’s Choice) for trainer David Hayes and Zazparella (Al Maher) for Michael Moroney were unplaced in the Edward Manifold Stakes at their last appearances and both three-year-olds will line up on Saturday looking to take their first race victory.
The Zabeel filly Gondokoro completes the field and is the only filly that comes into the race via the Group 1 Flight Stakes. Gondokoro is trained by Pat Carey and comes into the race as a maiden but being a Zabeel filly, the extra distance of Saturday’s race is likely to be in her favour. She will be ridden by Rhys McLeod from barrier 8.
The $120,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) will be held at Caulfield at 3.20pm (NZ time).
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
||DONNA CATTIVA (NZ)
||John P Thompson
||Peter G Moody
||KEEP DE ROSE (NZ)