Campionessa (NZ) Shows True Colours in Breeders’ Stakes

26 November 2023

Proven Group One performer Campionessa (NZ) (Contributer) made a welcome return to peak form with an outstanding performance in Saturday’s $225,000 Group Two Dunstan Horsefeeds Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe.

Campionessa (NZ) takes out the G2 Breeders Stakes.

The high-class Te Akau Racing mare was bred by Mapperley Stud’s Simms Davison, and she failed to meet her $70,000 reserve when offered in Mapperley’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019 and was later acquired by Te Akau's David Ellis (CNZM). Campionessa has now had 25 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $577,215 in stakes.

Last season was a coming-of-age campaign for Campionessa, who won the Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) at Riccarton in early November and the Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day. She later stepped up to Group One weight-for-age company and finished second to Sharp ‘N’ Smart (NZ) (Redwood) in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and to Prowess (NZ) (Proisir) the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2050m).

Campionessa was unplaced in two appearances at the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival in September, but she was a different mare when she returned to competition at Counties on Saturday. Ridden by Matt Cameron, she settled in midfield before sprinting through a gap along the rail at the top of the home straight.

Campionessa soon surged to the lead, then showed plenty of class and courage to fight off Faraglioni (NZ) (El Roca) and win by a long neck.

“Things didn’t quite go right for her during the carnival at Hastings, so we just gave her a bit of a freshen up,” co-trainer Mark Walker said. “I’d say the ride probably won the race today. Matt gave her a perfect run and she got all favours.

“We thought about trialling this mare during the week instead of running in this race, but I thought she’d come on more with a run than from going around at the trials, and I also felt the field wasn’t quite as strong as I’ve seen for this race in other years. It’s worked out well and she got it done today.

“She’ll probably go to the Cal Isuzu Stakes (Group Two, 1600m) at Te Rapa next, and then on to the Zabeel Classic (Group One, 2050m) back here on Boxing Day.

“She’s a good, honest mare, and she might be one of those mares that get so much better when they come into the warmer summer period.”

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 headline act with her three stakes wins, 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