Atishu (NZ) Cements NZB Southern Filly Supremacy in Warstep

27 April 2021

Atishu (NZ) claims the 2020-21 NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series crown. Photo: Race Images South

Cambridge visitor Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel) completed a superb two-race raid on the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series with another spectacular come-from-behind performance in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.

Bought by Go Racing for $260,000 from Waikato Stud’s draft at Karaka 2019, Atishu is trained by Stephen Marsh and ventured south to contest the final two legs of the four-race Series – the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) and Warstep Stakes. She was a class above her opposition on both occasions, earning 14 points and sweeping to emphatic Southern Filly Series success.

Saturday’s Warstep Stakes may not have matched the seven-length margin of the NZB Airfreight Stakes earlier in the month, but Atishu was no less impressive.

The hot favourite got a long way back in the running and appeared to have a ton of work to do as the field rounded the home turn. But top apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano unleashed her down the outside and she made up a huge amount of ground in the straight, charging to victory by a length and three-quarters.

“She was superb in the end, but I really thought we were in a little bit of strife there for most of the run home,” Marsh told NZ Racing Desk.

“She just wasn’t finishing as easily as she had in her last couple of runs, but when Kozzi really asked her for the effort, she responded superbly and raced away.”

Atishu has now had nine starts for four wins and four placings, earning $89,425 in stakes for the Go Racing Ring A Ring Syndicate. All of those victories have come in her last four appearances.

Marsh is now turning his focus to a possible shot at the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 5.

“She is coming home to Cambridge now and will have a few days in the paddock before we make any further plans,” he said.

“It’s a big trip back by float, so she will need the rest. But if she travels well and comes through everything without any harm, then a crack at Brisbane is definitely on the cards.

“I think that would be a big thrill for her owners. There were a large group of them on course today and it was just fantastic seeing the joy that got from her win, so you can imagine what the celebration would be like with victory in a Group One.”

Exquisite Pearl (NZ) (Power) finished second behind Atishu in both the NZB Airfreight Stakes and Warstep Stakes, collecting 8 points to finish in second place on the table. Matchmaker (NZ) (Makfi) and The Gift (NZ) (Power), the winners of the first two legs, have ended up in equal third place with 7 points.


Waikato Stud


Go Racing (Auckland)


Savabeel – Posy


Lot 316, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $260,000

Bred by

Waikato Stud