Jennifer Eccles (NZ) All Class in Classic

Jennifer Eccles (NZ) storms home to win the Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic at Te Rapa (2000m).
Jennifer Eccles (NZ) storms home to win the Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic at Te Rapa (2000m).

The deadlock has been broken and Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) stands alone at the top of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series leader board.

Heading into Saturday’s seventh leg of the Series, the $100,000 Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic at Te Rapa (2000m), arch-rivals Jennifer Eccles and Loire (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) were equal leaders with 16.5 points apiece. They had clashed four times this season, with small margins separating them on every occasion.

Saturday was a different story. Jennifer Eccles sat midfield under jockey Jason Waddell, who angled her into clear air at the top of the straight and she strode powerfully to the lead in the straight.

Dozens of members of Adrian Clark’s Challenge Syndicate rose to their feet and cheered as Jennifer Eccles raced clear for a dominant victory.

Last-start Group Three winner Showbeel (NZ) (Savabeel) was the closest of the chasers, finishing two and a half lengths away in second. Loire was another three and three-quarter lengths away in third.

“She’s top-class,” Waddell said.

“We got a gorgeous run, and wow, she came up underneath me approaching the home corner.

“She was fair flying coming past the furlong, and it would have taken something very very special to beat me. There was nothing in the race that could do that today.”

Jennifer Eccles is trained at Cambridge by Shaune Ritchie.

“It was a spectacular win,” Ritchie said. “When you’ve got a filly with that turn of foot, you do have a few little doubts about whether they will run the 2000 metres right out.

“It was a beautiful ride. He did exactly what he said he was going to do, and she ran the 2000 metres out strongly.”

Adrian Clark paid just $5000 to buy Jennifer Eccles at the 2017 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka. She has now had nine starts for two wins, both at Group Two level. She has placed in another six races and has earned $205,900 in stakes.

Jennifer Eccles now has 24.5 points in the Filly of the Year Series, while Loire sits second on 18.5. Showbeel has moved into fourth place on 11.5, just behind Two Illicit (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) on 12.

The Filly of the Year Series will head to Hastings for the eighth leg, the $100,000 Group Two Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) on February 26.

View the full leaderboard online here. 

Vendor Westend Partnership
Purchaser Adrian Clark Bloodstock Consultancy (Hamilton)
Breeding Rip Van Winkle – Platinum Elle
Sale Lot 221, 2017 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock, $5,000
Bred by Westend Partnership

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