2022-23 Filly of the Year

At the end of the exciting 11-race series, the name added to the honour roll as the 51st Filly of the Year was the exceptional Legarto (NZ) (Proisir).

Legarto (NZ) winning Leg 5 of the Filly of the Year Series

It was a brief Filly of the Year campaign for the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained filly, whose involvement was limited to three races between Labour Weekend and Boxing Day. But she was a super-impressive winner of all three, racking up a total of 26 points that put her out of the reach of any rival through the remainder of the series.

Legarto’s Filly of the Year Series debut came in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa on October 22, where she roared home from second-last to score a stunning win by an ever-widening margin of three lengths.

That set her up for the prestigious Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November, which produced more of the same. After settling in third-last, rider Ryan Elliot let her rip in the straight and she careered away to score by four and three-quarter lengths.

Next came the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day, in which Legarto started as a $1.10 favourite. Wessex (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) gave her an almighty scare by stealing a break of 10 lengths rounding the home turn, but Legarto reeled her in down the long Pukekohe straight and scored again.

But perhaps her finest moment came in early March, when Legarto became the first ever New Zealand-trained winner of the prestigious A$1m Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.

Hopelessly blocked on more than one occasion in the straight, jockey Michael Dee eventually found a way through and Legarto exploded, coming from nowhere to score a dazzling win.

“She’s just an amazing filly,” Ken Kelso said. “She does things other horses can’t do. She’s pretty special.”

Legarto was bought for $90,000 by part-owners Philip and Catherine Brown’s Ancroft Stud at Karaka 2021, where she was offered by Highline Thoroughbreds in Book 2.

From seven starts, Legarto has won six races and more than $1m in prize-money for her syndicate of 12 owners.

Among her many accolades is the valuable title of New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year, which also earns her connections $50,000 in bonus cheques including $10,000 for her breeder (Warwick Jeffries), $10,000 for her trainers and $30,000 for her owners.

Runner Up - Pennyweka (NZ) (Satono Aladdin)

The second placegetter on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series leaderboard was Pennyweka (NZ) (Satono Aladdin), who finished with a total of 17 points to her name and would have been a headline act in her own right in many other years.

After playing a supporting role with placings in the Group Two Lowland Stakes (2100m) and Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1600m), the Jim Wallace-trained filly went to a new level with a commanding three-length romp in the 11th and final leg of the series – last month’s Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

But that was only the beginning of the amazing ride Pennyweka provided for more than 70 owners in the Galloping Wekas Jazweka Syndicate. She then crossed the Tasman and became only the third filly in history to win both the New Zealand Oaks and the A$1m Group One Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick. Pennyweka’s ever-improving 10-start career has now produced three wins, four placings and more than A$1m in stakes.

2022-23 NZB Filly of the Year Series Schedule

Date Race Name Stake Dist. Club Winner
10/9/22 Gr.3 HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders Assn Gold Trail Stakes $100,000 1200m Hawke's Bay RI Best Seller (NZ) (Wrote)
22/10/22 Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes $85,000 1400m Waikato RC Legarto (NZ) (Proisir)
12/11/22 Gr.1 Barneswood Farm 50th New Zealand 1000 Guineas $400,000 1600m Canterbury JC Legarto (NZ) (Proisir)
10/12/22 Gr.3 LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes $85,000 1600m Manawatu RC Polygon (NZ) (Highly Recommended)
26/12/22 Gr.2 Jamison Park Eight Carat Classic $150,000 1600 ATR@Pukekohe Legarto (NZ) (Proisir)
1/1/23  Gr.2 Elsdon Park Royal Stakes $140,000 2000 Waikato RC Polygon (NZ) (Highly Recommended)
28/1/23 Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes $80,000 1600 Wellington RC Mazzolino (NZ) (Savabeel)
11/2/23 Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic $140,000 2000 Waikato RC Prowess (NZ) (Proisir)
1/3/23 Gr.2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes $120,000 2100 Hawke's Bay RI Val Di Zoldo (NZ) (War Decree)
4/3/23 Gr.3 McKee Family Sunline Vase $100,000 2100 Waikato RC Sakura Girl (NZ) (Iffraaj)
18/3/23 Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks $400,000 2400 Wellington RC Pennyweka (NZ) (Satono Aladdin)

2022-23 Leaderboard

Legarto (NZ) (Proisir x Geordie Girl) 26 1st Leg 2, 1st Leg 3, 1st Leg 5
Pennyweka (NZ) (Satono Aladdin x Threepence) 17 2nd Leg 7, 3rd Leg 9, 1st Leg 11
Polygon (NZ) (Highly Recommended x Polyantha) 14 1st Leg 4, 1st Leg 6
Best Seller (NZ) (Wrote x Star Amazing) 13 1st Leg 1, 2nd Leg 3
Sakura Girl (NZ) (Iffraaj x Soltina) 10 1st Leg 8, 1st Leg 10
Prowess (NZ) (Proisir x Donna Marie) 9.5 3rd Leg 2, 1st Leg 8
Mehzebeen (NZ) (Almanzor x Salkantay) 8 2nd Leg 11
Val Di Zoldo (NZ) (War Decree x Civetta) 8 1st Leg 9
Mazzolino (NZ) (Savabeel x Posy) 7.5 3rd Leg 1, 1st Leg 7
Sedeka (NZ) (Savabeel x O'Carol) 7 2nd Leg 6, 2nd Leg 10
Mischief Managed (NZ) (Derryn x Hey Pretty Katie) 6 3rd Leg 11
Contagious (NZ) (Priosir x Quella Finale) 6 3rd Led 8, 2nd Leg 9
Skew Wiff (NZ) (Savabeel x Starvoia) 4 2nd Leg 5
Blue Solitaire (NZ) (Almanzor x Princess Sapphire) 3.5 3rd Leg 3
Librarsi (NZ) (Reliable Man x Tennessee Love) 3 2nd Leg 2
Romancing The Moon (NZ) (El Roca x Underthemoonlight) 3 2nd Leg 2
Sans Doute (NZ) (Not A Single Doubt x My Prerogative) 3 2nd Leg 1
Safura (NZ) (Almanzor) 2 3rd Leg 6
Wessex (NZ) (Turn Me Loose x Trepidation) 2 3rd Leg 5
Marvelouz (NZ) (Almanzor) 1.5 3rd Leg 10
Beyond Violet (NZ) (Reliable Man x Ultraviolet) 1.5 3rd Leg 7
Sophmaze (NZ) (Derryn x Miss Isle) 1.5 3rd Leg 3

Points Available

Group 1 12 7 3.5
Group 2 8 4 2
Group 3 6 3 1.5