NZB Filly of the Year Series Heads to Matamata
22 October 2021
The time-honoured and prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series will break new ground on Saturday with the running of the second leg of the 2021-22 Series – the $80,000 Group Three Matamata Veterinary Services Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Matamata.
The Soliloquy Stakes is traditionally staged at Ellerslie, but has been relocated due to the Covid-19 Delta outbreak in Auckland – meaning the world-renowned training centre of Matamata will host a Filly of the Year Series race for the first time.
Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) heads the line-up with Group Two and Group Three victories to her name among an impressive four-start career, while Bonny Lass (NZ) (Super Easy) was a Group Two winner and Group One placegetter last season, Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh) has been Group Three-placed, and Flash Mary (NZ) (El Roca) has performed up to Listed level. Ziegfeld (NZ) (Teofilo) also adds significant interest, stepping up to stakes level for the first time after winning all of her three previous starts.
Foxton filly Bellacontte (NZ) (Burgundy) is the current NZB Filly of the Year Series leader with 6 points, courtesy of her victory in the opening leg – the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on September 18.
But Bellacontte is bypassing Saturday’s Soliloquy Stakes, clearing the way for the Gold Trail Stakes placegetters Mustang Valley (3 points) and Imperatriz (1.5 points) to leapfrog her on the points table. The Soliloquy Stakes is worth 6 points to the winner, with 3 points for second and 1.5 for third.
The Matamata Veterinary Services Soliloquy Stakes will be run as Race 6 at Matamata on Saturday, with a start time of 3.33pm.
2021 Group Three Matamata Veterinary Services Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) Field
|1||Imperatriz||13||One of the standouts of her generation last season and this spring, Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) has made a huge impression in her four-start career to date. She won both of her starts as a two-year-old last season, including a Group Two Eclipse Stakes (1200m) victory over subsequent standout colt Sword Of State (Snitzel). The Te Akau filly resumed on a similar note with a smooth win in the Group Three Northland Breeders' Stakes (1200m), then finished third in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings.||Jamie Richards||Danielle Johnson|
|2||Bonny Lass||8||Bonny Lass (NZ) (Super Easy) performed all the way up to the elite level last season, winning on debut before stepping up to the big time with a victory in the Group Two Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at this track. She rounded out her juvenile season with third placings in the Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m) and Group One Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m), then kicked off her three-year-old spring with a promising fourth in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m).||Graham Richardson & Rogan Norvall||Michael McNab|
|3||Ziegfeld||14||The most intriguing runner in the Soliloquy Stakes line-up, Ziegfeld (NZ) (Teofilo) has yet to be tested at stakes level but has been perfect in three starts to date. She won on debut at Ruakaka in April, then resumed with an easy victory at Taupo. In her most recent start, she won over the same course and distance as Saturday's race, beating race rival Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh) in a tight finish. Ziegfeld is bred and raced by Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, whose colours were carried into a second placing in this race last year by Kahma Lass (NZ) (Darci Brahma) - winner of the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) in her next start.||Lance Noble||Sam Weatherley|
|4||Mustang Valley||15||Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh) began her career in May with a second on debut and then a fourth in the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m). She won her next start at Te Rapa in June, then returned from a spell with a flying finish into second in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m). Her only start since then was over this course and distance on October 9, beaten by a neck by race rival Ziegfeld (NZ) (Teofilo) but beating the rest of the field by five lengths.||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Vinnie Colgan|
|5||Aris Aris||2||Contributer filly Aris Aris (NZ) races in the colours of her owner-breeder, Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman. She won impressively on debut at Taupo on September 8, then produced a powerful late run for a close second over 1200 metres at Te Rapa on October 1. The extra distance of Saturday's race looks likely to suit.||Stephen Autridge & Kris Shailer||Craig Grylls|
|6||Millefiori||5||Bought by David Ellis for $65,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2020, Millefiori (NZ) (Iffraaj) made her mark as a two-year-old with smart wins in both of her first two starts. She was among the favourites for the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), in which she finished eighth. She has finished sixth and eighth in her first two starts as a three-year-old.||Karaka 2020, Book 2||Mr DC Ellis, $65,000||Jamie Richards||Joe Kamaruddin|
|7||Verstappen||9||A quality type and closely related to Group One winner and sire Preferment (NZ) (Zabeel), promising filly Verstappen (NZ) (Savabeel) sold for $420,000 in Book 1 of Karaka 2020. She has had just two starts so far, beating two subsequent winners in a debut victory at Avondale in April before finishing second at Taupo on October 6.||Karaka 2020, Book 1||Mr GC Beemsterboer, $420,000||Peter & Dawn Williams|
|8||Belle En Rouge||1||Burgundy filly Belle En Rouge (NZ) has been a strong performer across all three starts so far, finishing second on debut at Hawera on September 3 before a close fourth at Cambridge later that month. Her most recent start was her best one yet, winning by three lengths at Taupo on October 6.||Jamie Richards|
|9||Eva Chiara||10||Bought for $100,000 by Bruce Perry Bloodstock at Karaka 2020, Eva Chiara (NZ) (Savabeel) has had one start for an impressive win by a length and a half at Rotorua on September 29.||Karaka 2020, Book 1||Bruce Perry Bloodstock, $100,000||Stephen Marsh||Taiki Yanagida|
|10||Flash Mary||11||Flash Mary (NZ) (El Roca) surpassed her $9250 purchase price at the 2020 South Island Sale in no time, amassing more than $28,000 in stakes from four starts to date. She won on debut at Ellerslie in June, then finished fourth at Te Rapa and third in the Listed Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki. Her most recent start was a victory over 1300 metres at this track.||2020 South Island Sale||Bee Cee, $9,250||Debbie Sweeney|
|11||Ginsburg||3||Bred and raced by Dame Lowell Goddard QC and Sir Peter Vela, Iffraaj filly Ginsburg (NZ) was unplaced in her first two starts but took a huge step forward to win her third start at Rotorua on September 29.||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Sarah Macnab|
|12||Iffshecan||6||A debut winner against race rival Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh) at this track in May, Iffshecan (NZ) (Iffraaj) has subsequently finished seventh in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui, third at Taupo and third at Rotorua.||Cody Cole||Courtney Barnes|
|13||La Dolce Vita||12||La Dolce Vita (NZ) (Per Incanto) was a $20,000 purchase from Book 2 of Karaka 2020 by trainer Ralph Manning. She won at Cambridge on June 30 and has also picked up a placing in her six-start career, but she was unplaced in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) in her most recent appearance.||Karaka 2020, Book 2||Mr RR Manning, $20,000||Ralph Manning||Shaun McKay|
|14||The Perfect Pink||7||Well-related filly The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel), from the esteemed family of the Dennis brothers, has had just two starts to date. She finished fourth on debut behind the subsequent Group Two Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m) winner Mana Nui (NZ) (No Nay Never), then won impressively at Cambridge on September 22.||Jamie Richards||Ashvin Goindasamy|
|15||Dubai Diva||4||Dubai Diva (Pride Of Dubai) has improved with each of her three starts so far, most recently finishing second at Taupo on October 6.||Stephen Marsh|