Crucial NZB Filly of the Year Series Points up for Grabs in Eulogy

9 December 2021

The Perfect Pink currently heads NZB's 2021-22 Filly of the Year Series. 

Group One winner The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel) currently holds a comfortable lead in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, but she could be about to get some company. 

The Jamie Richards-trained The Perfect Pink earned 12 points for her victory in last month’s New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park, which sent her straight to the top of the table and 4.5 points clear of her nearest rival. But Saturday’s fourth leg of the Series, the $80,000 Group Three LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m), has the potential to narrow the gap.

The Perfect Pink is bypassing the Eulogy Stakes, which is worth 6 points to the winner. In her absence, Bellacontte (NZ) (Burgundy) and Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy), who have earned 6 and 5 points respectively in the Series to date, have the opportunity to make a big move up the ladder.

Bellacontte burst on the scene with two stakes wins at the beginning of the spring including the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), while Belle En Rouge has been a model of consistency – never finishing further back than fourth in her five-start career, and placing in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) and the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas in her two most recent appearances.

Bellacontte and Belle En Rouge are the only two fillies in Saturday’s field with previous NZB Filly of the Year Series experience, but Unusual Culture (NZ) (Unusual Suspect) followed a spectacular debut victory with a second placing in last month’s Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) against male three-year-olds.

Up-and-comers Achieve (NZ) (Pierro), Avalene (NZ) (Vadamos), Miss Madison (NZ) (Astern) and Not A Brass Razoo (NZ) (Darci Brahma) head into the race as last-start winners.

The LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes will be run as Race 8 at Awapuni on Saturday, with a start time of 3.47pm.

2021 Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m) Field

1 Belle En Rouge 5 Bred by Te Akau's David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis and raced by the Te Akau Beautiful in Red Racing Partnership, Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) has barely put a foot wrong in her five-start career. She has never finished further back than fourth, and after scoring a maiden win at Taupo in early October, stepped up to stakes class with creditable third placings in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) and Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).     Jamie Richards Joe Kamaruddin
2 Bellacontte 4 Burgundy filly Bellacontte (NZ) was an early-spring sensation, stringing together back-to-back wins in the Listed O'Learys Fillies Stakes (1200m) and Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) before a fast-finishing fourth against older mares in the Group Three Taranaki Breeders' Stakes (1400m). Her flawless formline has been dented since then, but she didn't have all favours when fifth in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) last start.     Chrissy Bambry Robert Hannam
3 Unusual Culture 10 Unusual Culture (NZ) (Unusual Suspect) is trained by Fraser Auret and was bred by his parents, Nigel and Adaire, who stand the sire Unusual Suspect at Letham Thoroughbreds. Now racing in the colours of major Australian owner Ozzie Kheir, Unusual Suspect won by four lengths on debut before finishing second in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) in her only other start.     Fraser Auret Lisa Allpress
4 Achieve 6 By Pierro and from the exceptional bloodlines of the Dennis Brothers, blue-blooded filly Achieve (NZ) was a $375,000 purchase from Karaka 2020. After an unlucky sixth on debut, she broke through for a stylish maiden win at Tauranga on November 13. Karaka 2020, Book 1 RA James/R Wellwood, $375,000 Roger James & Robert Wellwood Ryan Elliot
5 Avalene 9 Avalene (NZ) (Vadamos) races in the colours of owner-breeder Joan Egan and has had one start for an impressive win, scoring over 1400 metres at Te Aroha on November 9.     Roger James & Robert Wellwood Shaun McKay
6 Just Dance 2 A daughter of Group One-winning mare Stolen Dance (NZ) (Alamosa), talented filly Just Dance (NZ) (Tavistock) won impressively on debut at Te Rapa on November 2. She was unplaced in the Listed Trevor & Corallie Eagle Memorial (1500m) in her only other start.     David Greene Leah Hemi
7 Marcella 11 Sweynesse filly Marcella (NZ) heads into Saturday's race with three career starts under her belt, winning the second of them at Te Aroha on November 9.     David Greene Courtney Barnes
8 Miss Madison 3 From the family of Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy (Red Ransom) and successful sire Danasinga, the Ben Foote-trained Miss Madison (NZ) (Astern) was bought for $100,000 at the 2020 Ready to Run Sale. Second, seventh and fourth in the first three starts of her career, she took a big step forward on November 19 with an emphatic maiden win at New Plymouth. 2020 Ready to Run Sale Hughes Bloodstock, $100,000 Ben Foote Dylan Turner
9 Not A Brass Razoo 12 Darci Brahma filly Not A Brass Razoo (NZ) began her career this spring with placings in two of her first three starts, then produced a powerful finish to record her first win in a strong $40,000 race during the New Zealand Cup carnival in Christchurch.     Bill Thurlow Charlotte O'Beirne
10 Rue Cler 7 Bought for just $15,000 at Karaka 2020 by trainer Bryce Newman, Rue Cler (NZ) (Proisir) has had a win and a placing from three starts to date. She scored by more than two lengths at Waverley on September 30. Karaka 2020, Book 2 Mr BE & Mrs MJ Newman, $15,000 Bryce Newman Kate Hercock
11 Barri Hyde 8 Barri Hyde (NZ) (Iffraaj) was a $20,000 purchase from Book 2 of Karaka 2020. Unplaced in five starts as a two-year-old, she has recorded close placings in both of her three-year-old appearances so far. Karaka 2020, Book 2 Bidlake Racing/Barry Hyde Bloodstock, $20,000 Aaron Bidlake Hazel Schofer
12 Divine Sava 1 Go Racing's Divine Sava (NZ) (Savabeel) was bought for $220,000 at Karaka 2020. She has placed in three of her seven starts so far, and was also a close and unlucky fifth in the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes (1100m). Karaka 2020, Book 1 Go Racing, $220,000 Stephen Marsh Taiki Yanagida