Newcomers Out to Make NZB Filly of the Year Impact

Friday, February 28, 2020

Current FOTY leader Jennifer Eccles (NZ) has earned 32.5 points.
Current FOTY leader Jennifer Eccles (NZ) has earned 32.5 points.

Table-topper Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) is now beyond their reach, but a number of up-and-comers will attempt to make some late impact in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series when they run in Saturday’s ninth leg – the $70,000 Group Three McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie.

Bergamot (NZ) (Sweet Orange) is the only runner in the field who already features on the Filly of the Year table, collecting 4 points with a second placing in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

That puts her well below Jennifer Eccles, who moved to 32.5 with her victory in Wednesday’s Group Two Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings.

But the Sunline Vase is worth a valuable 6 points to the winner, and with 12 points available in the Group One Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham two weeks later, it could serve as a springboard to a prominent finish on the Filly of the Year Series table.

Seven Seas (NZ) (Roc de Cambes) has won both of her last two starts over staying trips, including the Listed Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth.

Meghan (NZ) (So You Think) has a similar profile, striking winning form after stretching beyond 1600 metres. She has won her last two starts over 2000 and 2100 metres.

Pineapple Girl (Olympic Glory) adds interest, having won at Sale in Australia before crossing the Tasman and finishing fourth in the Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) on her New Zealand debut.

The McKee Family Sunline Vase will be run as Race 6 at Ellerslie on Saturday, with a start time of 3:20pm.

View the full leaderboard online here.

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey
1 Bergamot 4 Unlucky in the Listed Oaks Prelude (1800m) in her last start, Bergamot (NZ) (Sweet Orange) will be suited to a return to Ellerslie. It was the venue for her career-best performance so far, a fighting second behind leading Derby contender Two Illicit (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on New Year's Day. Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Matt Cameron
2 Seven Seas 6 Increasing distances have brought the very best out of Seven Seas (NZ) (Roc de Cambes), who has won both of her last two. She scored a three-length maiden win over 2000 metres at New Plymouth on December 29, then added the Oaks Prelude with a barnstorming finish on February 1. Jockey Rosie Myers is unbeaten from two rides on this filly. Tony Pike Rosie Myers
3 Karalino 3 Karalino (NZ) (Zacinto) scored a four-length maiden win in early October, and has since finished second in the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m), seventh in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and a solid last-start fifth against the boys in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m). Stephen Autridge Craig Grylls
4 Pineapple Girl 2 Olympic Glory filly Pineapple Girl began her career in Australia, where she won one of her three starts in Victoria. She then crossed the Tasman to join the Matamata arm of co-trainer Mike Moroney's stable, and she finished a good fourth when she made her New Zealand debut in the Group 2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies' Classic (2000m). Michael Moroney & Pam Gerard Michael Coleman
5 Annie's Song 10 A two-time winner on her home track of Ruakaka, Annie's Song (NZ) (Darci Brahma) has also taken on strong three-year-old opposition and has performed solidly without a lot of luck. She again has an awkward draw to overcome. Chris Gibbs & Michelle Bradley Cameron Lammas
6 Meghan 7 Another filly who has come of age since stepping up past 1600 metres, Meghan (NZ) (So You Think) has strung together successive victories over 2000 and 2100 metres in her last two starts. Lance Noble Leith Innes
7 Amal Rose 9 Amal Rose (Written Tycoon) was a last-start fourth in the Oaks Prelude, but less than half a length from the winner in a blanket finish. She won a maiden race by three and three-quarter lengths at Tauranga earlier in the season. Roger James & Robert Wellwood Vinnie Colgan
8 White Hibiscus 11 Animal Kingdom filly White Hibiscus has had four starts for a win, a second, a third and a fourth. She flew home to finish second by a nose at Matamata last start. Mark Forbes Samantha Collett
9 Communique 8 After making a good impression in lower grades, Communique (NZ) (Redwood) stepped up to the big time last start and performed with credit for a late-finishing eighth in the Avondale Guineas. Stephen Autridge Michael Walker
10 Darcee Que 5 Darcee Que (NZ) (Darci Brahma) fought solidly in fifth place in the Royal Stakes two starts back, but was a little disappointing in 12th in the Oaks Prelude at the beginning of this month. Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Ryan Elliot
11 Kaipaki Road 12 El Roca filly Kaipaki Road (NZ) caught the eye with strong finishes for seventh in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and sixth in the Royal Stakes. Her only start since then was over a shorter distance here two weeks ago, where she finished eighth. Stephen Marsh Danielle Johnson
12 Octave 1 Well-bred filly Octave (NZ) (Darci Brahma) has yet to win or place from five starts, but has produced good finishes over 1600 metres in recent appearances. Michael Moroney & Pam Gerard Shaun McKay