Fillies’ Classic a Key Race in NZB Filly of the Year Series

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel). Photo: Trish Dunell

This year’s field for the $100,000 Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) will head to Te Rapa on Saturday with a proud record of New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series success to uphold. 

This race has been won by seven of the last 11 NZB Filly of the Year winners, including all of the last four – Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi), Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy), Imelda Mary (NZ) (Ferlax) and Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle).

The Fillies’ Classic is worth 8 Filly of the Year points for the winner, which could give this season’s Series a new leader for the first time since November.

Kahma Lass (NZ) (Darci Brahma) has clearly topped the table with 15 points since her victory in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 14, but Fillies’ Classic contenders Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel) and Needle and Thread (Makfi) sit in equal second place on 8 points each and could take over with a victory on Saturday.

Others in Saturday’s field with Filly of the Year Series points to their name are Victorem (NZ) (Shooting to Win) and Sweet Anna (NZ) (Tavistock) with 3 each, Il Affare (NZ) (Dundeel) with 2 and Tokorangi (NZ) (Redwood) with 1.5.

Zee Falls (NZ) (Sacred Falls) and Key (Exceed and Excel) are yet to earn points in the Filly of the Year Series, but finished first and second against male three-year-olds in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki in November.

The David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic will be run as Race 7 at Te Rapa on Saturday with a start time of 3:40pm.

 

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey Purchaser
1 Amarelinha 1 Bought for $300,000 by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis from Waikato Stud's draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2019, Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel) has made a big splash in the first four starts of her career this summer. After a second placing on debut, she scored back-to-back wins including a dazzling performance in the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, which earned her 8 NZB Filly of the Year Series points. She then went toe to toe with the unbeaten Aegon (NZ) (Sacred Falls) in an epic $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), beaten into second by a mere head. Jamie Richards Danielle Johnson David Ellis, Karaka 2019, Book1, $300,000 
2 Needle and Thread 9 Needle and Thread (Makfi) is a full-sister to the Group One performer and Valachi Downs stallion Savile Row (NZ) (Makfi). From five starts, Needle and Thread has recorded two wins including a superb four-length romp in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie in her most recent start. That earned her 8 NZB Filly of the Year Series points, moving her into equal second place on the table alongside Amarelinha. Stephen Autridge & Kris Shailer Craig Grylls  
3 Il Affare 6 Promising filly Il Affare (NZ) (Dundeel) has recorded two wins and three placings from her eight starts to date, including a third in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) that earned her 2 NZB Filly of the Year Series points. She produced a big finish for second over 1600 metres at Pukekohe last start. She is by exciting stallion Dundeel (NZ) out of Pennacchio (NZ) (Align), who won two Listed races in Australia and is the dam of Group Three-winning Hong Kong sprinter Full of Beauty (Darci Brahma). Peter & Dawn Williams Johnathan Parkes  
4 Tokorangi 12 A $30,000 purchase from Bradbury Park's Book 2 draft at Karaka 2019 by Paul Moroney Bloodstock and Ballymore Stables, Tokorangi (NZ) (Redwood) has struck repeated misfortune throughout her three-year-old season. She was shut out of a gap when a close fourth in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), then produced the fastest last sectional of the day in a flying finish for third in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m). She again struggled to find clear air when fifth, less than a length from the winner, in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m). In two subsequent starts, she has produced another two strong finishes for fifth in the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group One Levin Classic (1600m). Michael Moroney & Pam Gerard Andrew Calder Paul Moroney Bloodstock and Ballymore Stables, Karaka 2019, Book 2, $30,000
5 Zee Falls 7 Zee Falls (NZ) (Sacred Falls) was a $130,000 purchase by Marsh Racing from Waikato Stud's Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019. She placed in two of her first three starts, then stepped up to the big time with a strong finish to win the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki in late November. Her only start since then came in a star-studded field for the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie, where she finished a creditable eighth. Stephen Marsh   Marsh Racing, Karaka 2019, Book 1, $130,000
6 Victorem 11 Little Avondale Stud graduate Victorem (NZ) (Shooting to Win) was bought for $90,000 by Phill Cataldo Bloodstock in Book 2 of Karaka 2019. After placing in one of her first five starts, she suddenly rose to prominence at the end of last month - stylishly winning a maiden race at Trentham on January 23, then finishing second in the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at the same venue a week later. Anne Herbert Trudy Thornton Phill Cataldo, Karaka 2019, Book2, $90,000
7 Key 14 Key (Exceed and Excel) made a big impression on debut at Otaki in October, winning by three lengths. Two second placings followed, including in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m), before a good finish for fourth in the Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m). She looked set to be a leading contender in the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on January 30, but was hopelessly blocked in the straight and finished 10th. Johno Benner & Hollie Wynyard Michael McNab  
8 Canuhandleajandal 4 Canuhandleajandal (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) produced big finishes to run second over 1400 metres on debut and win over 1600 metres second-up. She ran on solidly for fourth in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m), then filled the same position in a Rating 74 event over the same distance in her most recent start. Graham Richardson & Rogan Norvall Vinnie Colgan  
9 Sweet Anna 2 $100,000 Karaka yearling purchase Sweet Anna (NZ) (Tavistock) won a maiden race at this track by more than three lengths in early September. Since then, she has finished second in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), sixth in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m), eighth in the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m), sixth in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1600m). Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Leith Innes Moody Racing, Karaka 2019, Book 1 $100,000
10 Slave to Love 3 Savabeel filly Slave to Love (NZ) has shown bright promise with impressive victories in two of her last three starts. In between times, she was a solid sixth in the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie. Peter & Dawn Williams Ashvin Goindasamy  
11 Bella Button 10 The third runner in this field for Byerley Park trainers Peter and Dawn Williams, Bella Button (NZ) (Proisir) was a $50,000 purchase from Rich Hill Stud's draft in Book 2 of Karaka 2019. She placed in two of her first four starts, then scored an impressive win at Ellerslie on January 10. She was blocked in the straight when 10th in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) two weeks later. Peter & Dawn Williams Samantha Collett Messrs DE & EY Nakhle, Karaka 2019, Book 2, $50,000
12 Samina Bibi 8 Co-trainer Shaune Ritchie paid $170,000 to buy Samina Bibi (NZ) (Reliable Man) from Westbury Stud's draft at the 2019 Ready to Run Sale. She was a highly impressive winner on debut at this track on November 25, scoring by two and a quarter lengths. Both subsequent starts have been at stakes level, having excuses when seventh in the Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m) before making up late ground for the same position in the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1600m). Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray Jonathan Riddell Shaune Ritchie, 2019 Ready to Run Sale, $170,000
13 Beautifulnightmare 13 Beautifulnightmare (NZ) (Contributer) is the second runner in this field for syndicator Kylie Bax, alongside Canuhandleajandal. Beautifulnightmare has improved throughout her three-year-old campaign, placing at this track in December before finishing well for eighth in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day. Her only start since then was a maiden win over this distance at Matamata on January 25. Chris Gibbs Lynsey Satherley  
14 Absconded 5 While still a maiden after four starts, Absconded (Sweet Orange) has shown potential with a second at Matamata behind race rival Beautifulnightmare and a close fourth in last week's Listed Oaks Prelude (1800m). Clinton Isdale Tegan Newman