Dragon Queen (NZ) Delivers in Westbury Classic

24 January 2022

Dragon Queen (NZ) claims the $150,000 Group Two Westbury Classic (1400m).

After two years of consistency against elite opposition – including in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) – Dragon Queen (NZ) (Sweynesse) had her day in the sun at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The under-rated mare broke through for her first stakes win in the $150,000 Group Two Westbury Classic (1400m), which was her second win in an 18-start career and took her career earnings to $188,045. She was bought by the New Zealand Chinese Jockey Club and Paul Moroney for $90,000 from Book 3 of Karaka 2019.

Almost half of Dragon Queen’s career starts have been in black type company, including third placings in last year’s Group Three Sunline Vase (2100m) and this month’s Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m). She also finished fourth in the Group Two Auckland Guineas (1600m), fifth in the Karaka Million 2YO and sixth in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

Saturday was her day, taking on a quality field of fillies and mares and coming out on top with a career-best performance. With Taiki Yanagida in the saddle, she sprinted sharply out of midfield to make her claim as the talented field lined up across the home straight in a desperate scramble to the finish.

It developed into a two-horse battle between Dragon Queen and Faithful Feat (NZ) (Per Incanto), who had won all of her last three starts. But Dragon Queen dug deep and prevailed by a nose, with Yanagida pumping his fist in triumph.

“We’ve been trying at this meeting for three years and we’ve finally done it,” said Pam Gerard, who trains Dragon Queen in partnership with Mike Moroney. “She’s one of my absolute favourite fillies in the stable – she’s just got such a great nature.

“She’s only a one-win horse, but she’s always run well in good races like this. She’s been a bit unlucky and probably should have been Group One-placed already.

“She’s really matured and has come back in outstanding order this season. She’s just getting better and better, and she really deserved this.”

Karaka 2022 features a half-sister to Dragon Queen, with Brighthill Farm offering a filly by Per Incanto as Lot 290 in Book 1.

Vendor Brighthill Farm
Purchaser New Zealand Chinese Jockey Club/Paul Moroney Bloodstock (Auckland)
Breeding Sweynesse – Happy Endings
Sale Lot 1090, Karaka 2019 Book 3, $50,000
Bred by Dowager Duchess of Bedford & Est late Duke of Bedford