New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders' Stakes

11 March 2005

The country's richest fillies and mares race is held at Te Aroha this weekend. The Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders' Stakes (1600m) is worth $120,000 and as usual has drawn some of the country's best racemares.

Three year old Spin 'N Grin (Spinning World x Smile) will take advantage of the WFA conditions carrying 4 kilograms less than her nearest rival. The filly won the recent Group 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic and was also placed in the Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes.

High-weights for the race include five-year-old Barcelona (Desert Sun x Opulent Lady). The mare has been placed in several Group 2 & 3 races over the last several months and in February she finally picked up some winning black type when she won the Listed Resort Pacifica Tauranga Classic.

Octapussy (Octagonal x Dopff), who also carries the high-weight of 56 kilograms is another to watch for. The mare has a good strike rate and although she is not stakes performed she did run a good fourth in the Group 1 Whakanui Stud International Stakes last month.

Calveen (Canny Lad x Calvinia) and Bhandara (Zabeel x Vedodara) are early, warm fixed odds favourites for the race, paying $4.00 and $4.25 respectively. Calveen has been going very well this campaign picking up wins in the Group 2 NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes and the Group 3 Gasmate Stakes.

The well-bred Bhandara, who is trained by John Sargent, is being considered for a tilt at the Group 1 $800,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April. A dual Group 3 winner over the distance, Sargent's aspirations for the mare indicate the high esteem in which he holds her.

Other notable runners include Filante Etoile (Soviet Star x Georgiana) who is making a comeback after an accident in track-work put her in the spelling paddock over the summer carnivals. The mare, who ran second in the 2004 Group 1 ING New Zealand Oaks, ran third fresh-up at Tauranga and trainer Richard Yuill is confident she is ready to go another nice race on Saturday.

Rockabubble (Bubble Gum Fellow x Blond Rocket) comes into the race off the back of two wins at 1400 metres. The Tony Cole-trained mare was a stakes winner at two and although she won a race at three she has shown her best form in this campaign.

Immediately prior to the Group 1 race New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance sponsor a $15,000 three-year-old race over 1600m. The New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance 3YO is set to jump at 3:08pm.