Impressive Atishu (NZ) Back to Clinch NZB Southern Filly Crown

22 April 2021

Atishu (NZ) won Leg 3 of NZB's Southern Filly of the Year Series.

Two weeks on from one of the most dominant performances in the 20-year history of the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series, Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel) will attempt to clinch the title in Saturday’s fourth and final leg – the $50,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton. 

The super-talented filly was a $260,000 purchase by Go Racing from Waikato Stud’s draft at Karaka 2019, and she placed in three of her four starts in the spring including the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1200m).

After impressive back-to-back victories at Pukekohe and Riccarton in March, she made her NZB Southern Filly Series debut in the NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) on April 10. It was a 13-horse field but turned into a one-horse race, with the Stephen Marsh-trained Atishu blowing everyone away by seven lengths.

There has been talk of a potential tilt at the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 5, but first Atishu will try to wrap up her NZB Southern Filly of the Year title on Saturday.

She goes into the Warstep Stakes as an equal leader on 7 points, alongside the winners of the first two legs – Matchmaker (NZ) (Makfi) and The Gift (NZ) (Power). Neither of those fillies are in Saturday’s Warstep Stakes field.

The only potential title threats are Larpower (NZ) (Power) and Exquisite Pearl (NZ) (Power), who each earned 4 points with runner-up finishes earlier in the Series. Atishu beat them both with ease last start, but if either can turn the tables and pick up the 7 points available to the Warstep Stakes winner, they could move to the top of the table.

But the quality doesn’t end there in Saturday’s field, with Showemhowitsdone (NZ) (Showcasing) being a multiple Listed winner earlier in the season and Gone With The Wind (NZ) (Sebring) picking up two black-type placings with powerful late finishes.

The Warstep Stakes is worth 7 NZB Southern Filly Series points to the winner, with 4 for second and 2 for third.

The New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes will be run as Race 7 at Riccarton on Saturday, with a start time of 2.43pm.

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey Purchaser
1 Atishu 2 Savabeel filly Atishu (NZ) was a $260,000 purchase by Go Racing from Waikato Stud's draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2019. Stakes-placed in the spring, she has made a spectacular return this autumn with three consecutive victories, culminating in a stunning seven-length romp in the NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m). She is the equal leader in the NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series with 7 points. Stephen Marsh Kozzi Asano Karaka 2019, Book 1, $260,000, purchased by Go Racing 
2 Showemhowitsdone 10 Showemhowitsdone (NZ) (Showcasing) has compiled a consistent and impressive record throughout her three-year-old season, winning three races including the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) and Dunedin Guineas (1500m). She has also picked up two placings, along with a fourth in the NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) and a fifth in the NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m). Shane Kennedy & Anna Furlong Terry Moseley  
3 Larpower 6 Larpower (NZ) (Power) made the perfect start to her career this season, going undefeated through four trials and her first two raceday appearances. She then picked up 4 points in the NZB Sourthern Filly of the Year Series with a gallant second in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m). She finished seventh in her next appearance, then was closer to her best form with a last-start fourth in the NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m). Ross Beckett Kin Kwo  
4 Yolo 9 Trained by Kevin Myers at Wanganui, Yolo (NZ) (Zed) heads south with a series of creditable black-type performances in the North Island under her belt. She ran fourth in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m), then ninth in the Listed Oaks Prelude (1800m), fourth in the Group Three Sunline Vase (2100m) and a last-start fourth in the Group Three Manawatu Classic (2000m) earlier this month. Kevin Myers Ryan Elliot  
5 Kitty Cugat 1 Trained and part-owned by Terri Rae, Kitty Cugat (King Cugat) has shown real talent with two wins and a placing from her eight starts to date, along with solid sixths in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) and NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m). Terri Rae Kylie Williams  
6 Exquisite Pearl 4 Marton visitor Exquisite Pearl (NZ) (Power) made her South Island debut in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) two weeks ago, where she finished second and earned 4 NZB Southern Filly Series points. She had previously had seven starts in the North Island for a win and three placings. Fraser Auret Leah Hemi  
7 Gone With The Wind 7 Bought by Bruce Perry Bloodstock for $60,000 at Karaka 2019, Gone With The Wind (NZ) (Sebring) produced big finishes for third placings in the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m) and Southland Guineas (1600m) earlier in the season. She has been unplaced in two starts since then, including an eighth in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m). Andrew Carston Vinnie Colgan Karaka 2019, Book 1, $60,000, purchased by Bruce Perry Bloodstock
8 Town Cryer 8 Tavistock filly Town Cryer (NZ) scored an impressive win at Tauherenikau in February, then stepped up to black-type company with a close seventh in the Group Two Lowland Stakes (2100m). She was a last-start third in a Rating 65 against older horses at Awapuni on April 9. Roydon Bergerson Wiremu Pinn  
9 Purple Rain 5 Bred and part-owned by Waikato Stud, Purple Rain (NZ) (Rock 'n' Pop) is a half-sister to the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) placegetter Felton Road (NZ) (Pins). This is her first start at stakes level, having come of age with a strong finish to win a 1600-metre maiden race at Ashburton on April 7. Lance Robinson Courtney Barnes  
10 Arrowtown 3 Well-related Arrowtown (NZ) is by Tavistock out of Group One performer and black-type producer La Sizeranne (NZ) (Stravinsky). Passed in at Karaka with an $80,000 reserve, Arrowtown has picked up a placing in her four-start career to date and finished 11th in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) in her most recent appearance. Michael & Matthew Pitman Kavish Chowdhoory Karaka 2019, Book 1, Passed In