Campionessa (NZ) Captures Caulfield Group Two

26 February 2024

Campionessa (NZ) pictured as a Karaka 2019 graduate.

Having crossed the Tasman with a long list of New Zealand achievements to her name, high-class Karaka graduate Campionessa (NZ) (Contributer) added some crucial Australian black-type to her record in Saturday’s A$300,000 Group Two Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.

The Peter Young was the 11th win of a 30-start career for Campionessa, who was passed in when she was offered with a $70,000 reserve in Mapperley Stud’s draft during Book 1 of Karaka 2019. The Te Akau Racing mare has now earned more than $1.1m.

Campionessa has been a regular presence among New Zealand’s top echelon of summer racing in the last two seasons. Her five black-type successes included the Group One Zabeel Classic (2050m) and three Group Two races, while she also ran second to Legarto (NZ) (Proisir), Prowess (NZ) (Proisir) and Sharp ‘N’ Smart (NZ) (Redwood) in Group One weight-for-age features.

Campionessa’s impressive record and strong recent form earned her favouritism in Saturday’s Peter Young Stakes, and she duly delivered in the hands of expat New Zealand jockey Michael Dee.

The Mark Walker-trained six-year-old enjoyed a comfortable run tucked in behind the leading pair, and after being briefly blocked at the home turn, she found a way out into the clear and began to move through her gears in the home straight.

Campionessa strode to the lead, and when she was joined by Vow And Declare (NZ) (Declaration of War) in the closing stages of the race, she rose to meet his challenge and edged him out in a thrilling head-bobbing duel to the wire.

“Pre-race, I wasn’t sure if we were going to lead or box-seat,” Dee said. “We eventually ended up in the box seat, and it was just a matter of biding our time and waiting for the gaps to come.

“The gap did come and she gave a really good kick. I thought we were going to win quite comfortably at that stage, but being at Caulfield for the first time, she probably just had a bit of a look around. It wasn’t until Vow And Declare came up beside her that she found that bit extra.

“Her form in New Zealand is very, very good. She ran a huge race behind Legarto last start. So I was very confident leading into the race. She was obviously very fit for this, and that probably helped her get across the line today.”

Bred and sold by Mapperley Stud’s Simms Davison, Campionessa is one of five winners from six foals to race out of the three-race-winning mare Bella Carolina (NZ) (O’Reilly). Remarkably, three of Bella Carolina’s progeny have been stakes winners. Campionessa is the clear headline act, while Tennessee (NZ) (Per Incanto) and Leedox (NZ) (Time Test) both won Listed races.

Vendor Mapperley Stud Ltd
Breeding Contributer – Bella Carolina
Sale Lot 590, Karaka 2019 Book 1, Psd (Res $70,000)
Bred by Simms Davison