Belle En Rouge (NZ) Narrows NZB Filly of the Year Race

13 December 2021

Belle En Rouge (NZ) wins Leg 4 of NZB's 2021-22 Filly of the Year Series.

A superb win in Saturday’s $80,000 Group Three LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni has moved Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) up to second on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series points table, and she is now only 1 point behind stablemate The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel). 

The Jamie Richards-trained Belle En Rouge went into the Eulogy with two placings to her name from her only two previous appearances in Filly of the Year Series races. She had finished third behind stablemate Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Matamata, then came third again behind The Perfect Pink in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton last month.

But it was third time lucky on Saturday for Belle En Rouge, who provided a first black-type win for apprentice jockey Joe Kamaruddin.

After settling in fourth behind a steady tempo set by Achieve (NZ) (Pierro), Kamaruddin angled Belle En Rouge into clear air at the top of the straight to make her run.

Achieve found a strong kick at the top of the straight, but Belle En Rouge warmed into her work, narrowed the margin and ultimately gained the upper hand to score by a neck.

“It was a great result for the owners and for Joe (Kamaruddin) to get his first stakes winner in the tangerine for Te Akau,” Richards said. “It was a lovely ride.

“We gave her a week in the paddock after the 1000 Guineas, time to refresh, and Lydia Truesdale and the team have done a wonderful job with her at Riccarton. They sent her to Palmerston North on Thursday in great order, and she’s a filly that’s doing a really good job.”

While David Ellis is renowned as a perennial leading buyer at Karaka’s National Yearling Sales Series and Ready to Run Sale, Belle En Rouge was actually bred by the Te Akau Racing principal in partnership with his wife, Karyn Fenton-Ellis.

“Every year we pick two or three of what we think are the best weanlings on the farm and syndicate them,” Ellis said. “She always looked a standout type to me, since the day she was born, and she deserved a stakes win after some very good performances.

“I’m thrilled for Joe (Kamaruddin). He works so hard, had a great start to his riding career and winning his first stakes race is great thrill for everyone.”

The Perfect Pink maintains her NZB Filly of the Year Series lead with 12 points, but Belle En Rouge is now breathing down her neck with 11. Imperatriz, who has 7.5 points, completes an all-Te Akau top three.

Saturday’s Eulogy Stakes runner-up Achieve picked up her first three points of the Series and now sits in equal sixth place, while Unusual Culture (NZ) (Unusual Suspect) earned 1.5 points for finishing third in the Eulogy.

The Series now heads to Ellerslie in Auckland for two Group Two features within the space of a week – the $110,000 Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day, and the $110,000 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes (2000m) on New Year’s Day.

View the full 2021-22 NZB Filly of the Year Series leader board here.