Quality Fillies Set For 1000 Guineas Showdown
11 November 2021
After a series of impressive performances at various tracks around the country, this season’s elite three-year-old fillies will meet for their first Group One showdown this Saturday.
Riccarton Park hosts the third leg of a fascinating New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, and one of the most significant races on the New Zealand thoroughbred calendar every year – the $300,000 Group One Barneswood Farm 49th New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
A quality field of 16 is headed by Imperatriz (I Am Invincible), who was an undefeated Group Two winner as a juvenile and has carried on in a similar vein at three – moving to the top of the Filly of the Year Series points table with a smart last-start victory in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Matamata.
The valuable and highly rated filly represents the powerful Te Akau Racing team, trained by Jamie Richards. The syndication powerhouse is shooting for a sixth win in this prestigious fillies’ classic.
But Imperatriz has been defeated once in her five-start career, and that was her only meeting with 1000 Guineas rival Bellacontte (NZ) (Burgundy), who got the Filly of the Year Series underway with an impressive win in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings in September.
There You Go (NZ) (Niagara) has taken a different route to Riccarton, outclassing both male and female rivals in a dominant last-start performance in the Group Three Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton.
Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh) and Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) have both recorded close placings in Filly of the Year Series features this spring, while Sorrento (NZ) (Iffraaj) and Irish Red (NZ) (Burgundy) made an impact in the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series with placings in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m).
The likes of The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel), And We Danced (NZ) (Wrote), Chanel (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and Shepherd’s Delight (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) have been impressive winners in lower grades.
Going into Saturday’s Guineas, Imperatriz heads the Filly of the Year Series points table with 7.5 points. Bellacontte sits in second place with 6, while Mustang Valley and Dubai Diva (Pride Of Dubai) are in equal third on 3 points each. Belle En Rouge has 1.5 points.
The 1000 Guineas is worth a potentially decisive 12 points to the winner, with 7 points for second and 3.5 points for third.
The Barneswood Farm 49th New Zealand 1000 Guineas will be run as Race 8 at Riccarton Park on Saturday, with a start time of 3.20pm.
Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas Field
|1||Imperatriz||16||Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) was super-impressive last season, winning both starts including against a quality field in the Group Two Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie. She picked up where she left off with a stylish first-up win in the Group Three Northland Breeders' Stakes (1200m) in September, then placed in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) before moving to the top of the NZB Filly of the Year Series points table with a last-start success in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m). She has obvious class, and the draw and 1600-metre distance are the only queries.||Jamie Richards||Danielle Johnson|
|2||Bellacontte||2||Listed-placed as a two-year-old in June, Bellacontte (NZ) (Burgundy) has gone to a new level this spring. She stormed to victory in the Listed Fillies' Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui in early September, then repeated that result in the opening leg of the NZB Filly of the Year Series - the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings. Since then, she finished strongly for fourth against older mares in the Group Three Taranaki Breeders' Stakes (1400m), then capped her Guineas build-up with a win at Trentham. She sits in second place on the Filly of the Year standings.||Chrissy Bambry||Sarah Macnab|
|3||There You Go||13||Niagara filly There You Go (NZ) made her career debut at stakes level in May, finishing third in the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m). She was fourth in the Listed Fillies' Stakes (1200m) on her three-year-old debut, then headed to the South Island for the reaminder of her Guineas preparation. She is undefeated in both starts since then, winning over 1400 metres at Riccarton before adding an impressive victory in the Group Three Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton.||Tony Pike||Kozzi Asano|
|4||Mustang Valley||10||After an emphatic maiden win at Te Rapa in June, Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh) has been tested against some of the best of her generation in three starts this spring. She finished second in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), then ran second again in a talented three-year-old field at Matamata in early October. She was doing her best work late when a last-start fifth in the Group Three (Soliloquy Stakes). Mustang Valley shares third spot on the Filly of the Year Series points table with 3 points.||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Vinnie Colgan|
|5||Belle En Rouge||8||From four starts to date, Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) has recorded a win, a second, a third and a fourth. Her most recent race was her best one yet, overcoming traffic trouble early in the run home to finish strongly into third in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m). She has 1.5 points to her name in the Filly of the Year Series.||Jamie Richards||Michael McNab|
|6||Sorrento||15||Co-owned by her breeder Daniel Nakhle, Sorrento (NZ) (Iffraaj) finished second in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) on September 18. She was a last-start fourth in the Group Three War Decree Stakes (1600m), in which the winner Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel) and runner-up Field Of Gold (Starspangledbanner) went on to finish first and third in last Saturday's Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).||John & Karen Parsons||Sam Weatherley|
|7||The Perfect Pink||14||The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel) comes from the famous family of the South Island's Dennis brothers. The filly's dam The Solitaire (NZ) (O'Reilly) won at Listed level and is a three-quarter sister to the multiple Group One winner The Jewel (NZ) (O'Reilly). The Perfect Pink was an outstanding maiden winner at Cambridge on September 22, then made a strong late finish for fourth in the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m). The Perfect Pink represents the trainer-jockey combination of Jamie Richards and Opie Bosson, who won this race last year with Kahma Lass (NZ) (Darci Brahma). They also teamed up to win last Saturday's Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel).||Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson|
|8||And We Danced||6||Karaka 2020 graduate And We Danced (NZ) (Wrote) is an intriguing runner in this race, having made only two previous appearances in her career. She was a brilliant debut winner at Hastings in May, then returned to racing with a second placing at Hawera on October 29.||Karaka 2020, Book 2||Passed||Bill Thurlow||Lisa Allpress|
|9||Chanel||3||Bred and raced by The Oaks Stud, who have previously won this race with Seachange (NZ) (Cape Cross) in 2005 and Risque (NZ) (Darci Brahma) in 2015, promising filly Chanel (NZ) (Darci Brahma) was a maiden winner at Riccarton early last month. She then stepped up to stakes level, finishing sixth in the Group Three Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m).||2019 May Sale||Relyt Farm, $5000||Tony Pike||Jacob Lowry|
|10||Shepherd's Delight||5||Shepherd's Delight (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) carries the colours of owner-breeders Llanhennock Trust. Sixth on debut at Cambridge in September, she then headed south and ran second at Timaru before a last-start win at Riccarton on October 23.||Jamie Richards||Samantha Wynne|
|11||Classic Diva||11||Riverton's Classic Diva (NZ) (Proisir) overcame a slow start for a brilliant win on debut on her home track in April, but she has placed only once from five previous starts.||Kelvin & Aimee Tyler||Kylie Williams|
|12||Irish Red||1||Consistent filly Irish Red (NZ) (Burgundy) placed in all of her first five starts, including a creditable third in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m). She claimed a deserved and overdue last-start maiden win at this course on October 23.||Jamie Richards||Jason Laking|
|13||Venturesome||12||Venturesome (NZ) (Ocean Park) kicked off her career with a second placing and a win at this course, both in heavy track conditions in June and July. She has been unplaced in four starts this spring, including the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) and Group Three War Decree Stakes (1600m).||Sandy Cunningham||Krishna Mudhoo|
|14||Emanon||4||Part-owned by her trainer Lionel Dobbs, Emanon (NZ) (Burgundy) was a strong maiden winner at Ashburton on October 16 but finished at the tail of the field at the same venue two weeks later. She finished third in a 1000-metre race on the middle day of the carnival on Wednesday.||2019 May Sale||Passed||Lionel Dobbs||Sanu Toolooa|
|15||Global Beauty||9||Bred and raced by Clearview Park, Global Beauty (NZ) (Highly Recommended) has recorded a second, a third and a fourth from six starts to date. She finished third in the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) on this day last year.||Bruce Tapper & Varma Ramhit||Tina Comignaghi|
|16||Glory Bound||7||Tavistock filly Glory Bound (NZ) finished second and fourth in strong maiden races in her first two starts, then stepped up to stakes level with a solid fifth in the Group Three Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton.||Stephen Autridge & Kris Shailer||Craig Grylls|