Quintessa (NZ) All Quality in Levin Classic

14 January 2024

Opie Bosson returns to scale with Quintessa (NZ)

Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis knows a thing or two about picking out top-quality fillies at Karaka, and he celebrated another major success story with Quintessa (NZ) (Shamus Award) in Saturday's $500,000 Group One Cambridge Stud Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham.

Among the long line of Group One stars that Ellis has selected at Karaka over the years are Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock) and Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), who between them won 27 Group One races and almost $11m in prize-money.

Those are big shoes for any of the stable's subsequent headline acts to try to fill, but Quintessa has made an outstanding start. Saturday's Group One triumph came at just career start number six for the Shamus Award filly, who Ellis bought for $170,000 from the Wentwood Grange Book 1 draft at Karaka 2022. Quintessa has won four of those six races, finishing second in both of the other two. She has now earned $444,650 in prize-money for the Te Akau Awarded Racing Partnership.

Quintessa fights off Zabmanzor (NZ) and Impendabelle. 

Quintessa’s exemplary form earned her favouritism for Saturday’s Levin Classic, and she lived up to expectations in style in the hands of jockey Opie Bosson.

After settling in sixth position, Quintessa produced a brilliant turn of foot in the straight to burst into contention. She then faced challenges on both sides through the final 200 metres as Impendabelle (Impending) fought back on the inside and Zabmanzor (NZ) (Almanzor) surged home out wide, but Quintessa kept lifting and held on for a narrow but authoritative win.

“As soon as I got on the back of Impendabelle, I knew that she’d take me right into the race,” jockey Opie Bosson said. “I was giggling turning for home.

“My filly did start easing up a little bit once she hit the front, but she’s tough. I could see them coming out wide, I didn’t even know who they were, but I was just hoping she’d put her head down at the right time.

“She doesn’t show much at home – the lead pony could probably beat her on the training track. But she really shows up on raceday.”

Quintessa is trained by premiership leaders Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson.

“It was another gun ride by Opie, who just gets it right so many times,” Walker said. “So does David, going and buying these lovely fillies that can win races like this.

“We had a team talk and decided to prioritise this race over the Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m). That race was obviously an attractive option, but we just felt a Group One beside her name would be great.

“We never make decisions on raceday, so we’ll let the dust settle and see how she comes through this before deciding what we do next.”

Vendor Wentwood Grange
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Shamus Award – Chaquinta
Sale Lot 163, Karaka 2022 Book 1, $170,000
Bred by Peachester Lodge Pty Ltd