Back-to-Back Group Features for Eternal Flame (NZ)

25 March 2024

Eternal Flame (NZ) storms home for Group Two glory.

Two weeks after claiming her first black-type win, classy Karaka graduate Eternal Flame (NZ) (Sacred Falls) delivered a repeat result with another top-drawer performance in Saturday’s A$300,000 Group Two BMD Group Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

Eternal Flame was bought for $260,000 by bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo from the 2021 Ready to Run Sale. Her 12-start career has now produced five wins, a placing and A$453,200 in stakes.

After finishing in the top five in no fewer than five previous black-type features, often without luck, Eternal Flame broke through with a classy performance in the Group Three Matron Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 9. Saturday marked another step up into Group Two company, but Eternal Flame delivered again and went back-to-back.

Ridden by Ethan Brown, Eternal Flame settled in sixth place among a field of eight before moving into striking range down the side of the track. She swooped four-wide around the home turn and soon thrust her head in front, kicking away to win by three-quarters of a length. Fellow Karaka graduate Campionessa (NZ) (Contributer) produced a strong late finish into third.

“I’ve been a bit unlucky on this horse a few times, so it feels great to repay the connections for sticking with me,” Brown said. “They really backed off down the side. She had race fitness on her side, and I just had to balance her up around the corner, and off she went.”

Eternal Flame is trained by Mick Kent for an ownership group that includes Trevor Eastwood, who had previously raced the highly talented Karaka graduate Kinane (NZ) (Reliable Man).

“I’m a bit emotional,” Eastwood said. “It’s fantastic. She’s closely related to Kinane, who we had a lot of bad luck with. We were so disappointed about what we lost with him because of injuries and that. Eternal Flame is related to that family, and when Mick Kent went to the Ready to Run Sale in New Zealand, I told him I didn’t care how much he had to pay – we just had to get her. It might be the first time I’ve got something right!

“She’s had a lot of bad luck herself, but now a bit of luck has come her way.”

Kent has been pleased with the way Eternal Flame as matured during her four-year-old season.

“She’s done a great job,” he said. “One thing I’ve noticed about her is that she’s got so much better with her manners on raceday.

“We’ve been a bit tough on her. She had a one-week back-up at Caulfield last month and then the Matron couple of weeks ago, so she’s had a busy few weeks, but she’s coped with everything really well. We’ll put her out now until the spring.”

Eternal Flame is out of Suriyan (NZ) (Savabeel), who is a three-quarter-sister to the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner and young Waikato Stud stallion Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel).

Vendor Kilmore Farm Ltd
Purchaser Phill Cataldo Bloodstock (BAFNZ) (Victoria)
Breeding Sacred Falls – Suriyan
Sale Lot 321, 2021 Ready to Run Sale, $260,000
Bred by Hoofbeat Ltd