Belle En Rouge (NZ) Soars to Top of NZB Filly of the Year Standings
27 December 2021
The remarkable consistency and class that Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) has shown through the first half of the 2021-22 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series has been rewarded with a place at the top of the points table.
The Jamie Richards-trained filly earned another 8 points from a superb victory in the $120,000 Group Two Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, lifting her total to 19. She has leapfrogged her stablemate The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel), who hasn’t raced since winning last month’s Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and sits in second place with 12.
Belle En Rouge began her career in September and took three starts to clear maiden grade, but since then she has been a superb performer throughout the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series. She joined the series in the second leg, finishing third in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m), which she followed up with a third in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas and a victory in the Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m).
It was a similar story on Sunday as jockey Opie Bosson gave Belle En Rouge an ideal run, hard on the heels of the front-running Lady Koval (American Pharoah).
Bosson pushed the button at the top of the home straight and Belle En Rouge drew clear, opening up a clear advantage and holding on to beat the fast-finishing The High Priestess (NZ) (Reliable Man) by three-quarters of a length.
“She was given a lovely ride by Opie, who summed it up perfectly,” Richards said. “There was no tempo down the back, and he was able to get her up into the right spot.
“She’s just a good, genuine, honest filly. She can be a bit hard to get a line on around the stables, but she turns up when it matters.
“She’s been busy – going down to Riccarton, then through to Palmy and now up to Ellerslie today, and she’s done a wonderful job. We’ll look after her and she probably won’t run again for a month or so now.
“She was bred by David (Ellis) and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis), and it’s great to pick up a Group Two win with a homebred filly.”
Runner-up The High Priestess earned her first 4 points of the Filly of the Year Series, joining the points table in sixth place. This was just the second start of her career, having finished sixth on debut at Te Rapa on December 18.
It was a similar story for the third-placed Princess Lowry (NZ) (Roc De Cambes), who stepped straight up to the big time after finishing third on debut two weeks earlier. She earned 2 points.
The next leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series is now fast approaching – the $110,000 Group Two Valachi Downs Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. Belle En Rouge is set to bypass that race, waiting instead for the Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa in early February.