Group One winner Maven Belle for sale on Gavelhouse Plus

18 March 2024

Group One winning mare Maven Belle (NZ).

Maven Belle (NZ) (Burgundy) is following in some famous Te Akau Racing footsteps, becoming the fifth Group One-winning mare from the stable to be offered for sale on Gavelhouse Plus.

Te Akau Racing has previously sold Avantage (Fastnet Rock) for a world-record price of $4.1 million, followed by Entriviere (NZ) (Tavistock) for $900,000, Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel) for $1.1 million and Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) for $800,000.

Like Belle En Rouge, Maven Belle was bred by Te Akau’s David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis – this time in partnership with Mark and Julia Walker.

Maven Belle is by former high-class Te Akau racehorse Burgundy (NZ), who went on to sire 11 stakes winners including three at Group One level in a sadly short-lived stallion career at Cambridge Stud.

The dam of Maven Belle is Te Akau’s six-time winner and stakes-placed Doyenne (NZ) (Kilimanjaro), who is a half-sister to the four-time Group One winner Levante (NZ) (Proisir).

Maven Belle made her mark on the racetrack immediately, winning all of her first three starts as a two-year-old including the Group Two Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and the Group Three 2YO Classic (1200m). She was a desperately unlucky third in the Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m), then scored a brilliant win in the Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) to clinch champion two-year-old honours.

The following season brought further black-type success for Maven Belle, who won the Group Three Almanzor Trophy (1200m) and finished fourth against older opposition in the Group One BCD Group Sprint (1400m) under weight-for-age conditions.

Maven Belle collected another Listed placing as a four-year-old, and in the end her 12-start career produced six wins, two placings and $429,345 in stakes.

“Each year we syndicate what we think are the best two or three yearlings that we’ve bred,” Ellis said. “We’ve had some fantastic results doing this with horses like Belle En Rouge, who won the Oaks and was NZB Filly of the Year.

“And the year after Belle En Rouge, we did the same thing with Maven Belle. She was champion two-year-old, a top-class filly, and she comes from a beautiful family that goes back to some really top horses.

“From the day we first galloped Maven Belle, we knew she was a very good horse. Her win in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes delivered a first Group One for her trainer Mark Walker since his return from Singapore, so she was a very special horse for us at Te Akau and I’m sure she’ll make a lovely broodmare.”

Rhetorical (NZ) (Snitzel)

Burgundy has had only seven runners so far as a broodmare sire, but three of them have won including Te Akau’s Group Three placegetter and leading Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m) contender Qali Al Farrasha (NZ) (Almanzor).

Meanwhile, Te Akau Racing is also offering Maven Belle’s stakes-performed stablemate Rhetorical (NZ) (Snitzel), who is currently located at Cranbourne, on Gavelhouse Plus.

By champion Australian sire Snitzel out of the Group One-placed mare Xpression (NZ) (Showcasing), Rhetorical had eight starts for two wins and two placings. She ran third in the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) as a two-year-old, and she finished fourth in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) as a spring three-year-old last September.

“She had a huge amount of potential and unfortunately didn’t get the chance to completely fulfil that on the track,” Ellis said. “She won twice at two and was Listed-placed. I thought she was extremely unlucky not to win at stakes level.

“She’s a beautiful foal out of a mare that exuded a lot of class and really tested our champion filly Avantage in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m). It’s not easy to buy such a well-bred filly by a champion sire like Snitzel.”

Snitzel also boasts impressive statistics as a broodmare sire. His daughters have produced 512 winners from 784 runners, with 29 stakes winners including Golden Slipper (1200m) heroine Mossfun (Mossman), last week’s Randwick Guineas (1600m) winner Celestial Legend (Dundeel) and the standout two-year-old of the current New Zealand season, Velocious (Written Tycoon).

Bidding on the two mares will end from 7pm (NZT) on Thursday 21st March. Buyers looking to bid on the Gavelhouse Plus mares must set up their usernames and profiles well in advance of the close of auction if they have not bid on the site before by registering here.

Meanwhile also online is a 75 Lot fortnightly auction featuring a full to Unforgotten, a stakes-placed Savabeel mare and Fantastic Honour who is in foal to Satono Aladdin. Bidding in this sale ends from 7pm (NZT) on Monday 18th March.