Reputabelle (NZ) Shoots for History in NZB Southern Filly Victory Lap
22 April 2022
Already guaranteed the title of New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year for 2021-22, Reputabelle (NZ) (Pins) will try to take her dominant campaign into rare territory in Saturday’s $60,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.
Outstanding wins in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) and Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) have thrust Reputabelle into a commanding lead on the NZB Southern Filly Series points table with 14 points. With 7 points available for winning each race, the only other filly within reach is Art De Triomphe (NZ) (Vadamos), who is not contesting Saturday’s fourth and final leg.
While the Warstep Stakes is now effectively a Southern Filly Series victory lap for Reputabelle, a shot at a rare achievement adds plenty of interest to the 2000-metre feature.
In the 22 years that New Zealand Bloodstock has sponsored the Southern Filly Series, only one horse has ever completed a clean sweep of the NZB Airfreight Stakes, NZB Insurance Stakes and Warstep Stakes – Madam Victoria (NZ) (High Chaparral) in 2014.
Reputabelle has the right credentials to join that exclusive club, having scored highly impressive wins in all of her last four starts, and trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman expect her to relish the step up to 2000 metres this weekend.
But, as always with the NZB Southern Filly Series, there are plenty of high-quality fillies standing in the favourite’s way.
Unusual Countess (NZ) (Unusual Suspect) and Divine Sava (NZ) (Savabeel) ran big races for second and third placings in the NZB Insurance Stakes and are dangers again on Saturday, while the likes of Belle Of The Ball (NZ) (Savabeel), Burgie (NZ) (Ghibellines) and Pickens (NZ) (Belardo) produced eye-catching performances just behind the placegetters and are likely to appreciate the extra distance.
Classic Diva (NZ) (Proisir), meanwhile, backs up from a smart win against older mares in the Francolin Stakes (1400m) at Riverton on Monday.
The New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes will be run as Race 8 at Riccarton on Saturday, with a start time of 3.04pm.
Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m Field
|1||Reputabelle||7||The benchmark filly in the South Island this season, Reputabelle (NZ) (Pins) has been an outstanding winner of all of her last four starts. That winning streak includes the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) and Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m), earning an unassailable lead in the NZB Southern Filly Series with 14 points. The step up to 2000 metres on Saturday adds a different dimension, but trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman are confident it will be within her range.||Michael & Matthew Pitman||Tina Comignaghi|
|2||Unusual Countess||5||North Island raider Unusual Countess (NZ) (Unusual Suspect) is a proven black-type performer at this course, winning the Listed Champagne Stakes (1200m) on debut last season and returning for a gallant second placing in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) two weeks ago. She also placed behind Bellacontte (NZ) (Burgundy) in the Listed Fillies' Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui in the spring. Unusual Countess has 4 NZB Southern Filly Series points to her name.||Fraser Auret||Brett Murray|
|3||Classic Diva||6||Riverton filly Classic Diva (NZ) (Proisir) was a spectacular three-length debut winner around this time last year, and she made a welcome return to winning form with victory in the Francolin Stakes (1400m) on her home track on Monday of this week. The step up in distance should pose no problems, having placed over 2147 metres in January. Bought for just $5000 at the 2019 May Sale, she has earned almost $40,000 in stakes to date.||2019 May Sale||Relyt Farm, $5,000||Kelvin & Aimee Tyler||Krishna Mudhoo|
|4||Burgie||9||Burgie (NZ) (Ghibellines) has finished fifth in both the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) and Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m), finishing strongly in the straight on both occasions. The NZB Insurance Stakes was a particularly eye-catching performance, coming from third-last with big strides late in the race. She looks likely to be a key player over 2000 metres.||Brian & Shane Anderton||Terry Moseley|
|5||Divine Sava||2||Cambridge visitor Divine Sava (NZ) (Savabeel) has recorded a win and four placings in her 14-start career to date, most recently a gutsy third in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) despite being later found to have suffered muscle tie-up in the hindquarters. Carrying the colours of Go Racing, who won this last year with Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel), Divine Sava was a $220,000 purchase from Karaka 2020. Divine Sava has 2 NZB Southern Filly Series points.||Karaka 2020, Book 1||Go Racing, $220,000||Stephen Marsh||Courtney Barnes|
|6||Belle Of The Ball||13||Te Akau Racing's Belle Of The Ball (NZ) (Savabeel) was bought by David Ellis for $300,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2020. She has finished in the first four in all of her four starts so far, most recently a close fourth in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m).||Karaka 2020, Book 1||DC Ellis, $300,000||Mark Walker||Lisa Allpress|
|7||Mazzini||8||After a strong-finishing maiden win at Wanganui in late February, Mazzini (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) ventured south for the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m), where she made up ground in the last 200 metres to finish sixth.||Karaka 2020, Book 1||GC Cotterill, $90,000||Peter Didham||Samantha Wynne|
|8||Above The Clouds||1||Bought for only $9000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2020, Above The Clouds (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) has already exceeded that with $12,180 in a five-start career that has produced a win and two second placings. She was a last-start 10th in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m).||Karaka 2020, Book 2||RR Manning, $9,000||Ralph Manning||Tegan Newman|
|9||Champagnes On Me||3||Champagnes On Me (NZ) (All Too Hard) was a stylish maiden winner at Rotorua in early March, then came south for an 11th placing in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m).||Ralph Manning||Wiremu Pinn|
|10||Taimate Diva||4||After an impressive maiden win at this track in late February, Taimate Diva (NZ) (Telperion) finished fourth against older mares at Wingatui on March 21. A slow start proved costly in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m), where she was never a factor and beat only two horses home.||Andrew Carston||Kavish Chowdhoory|
|11||Just Maybe||11||Trained and ridden by Kylie Williams, Just Maybe (NZ) (Tivaci) earned 2 NZB Southern Filly Series points with a third placing in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui last month. She has been unplaced in two starts since then, including an eighth in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m).||Karaka 2020, Book 2||Richardson Racing, $87,500||Kylie Williams||Kylie Williams|
|12||Par Tee||10||Par Tee (NZ) (Verdi) is still a maiden but has shown good ability in her seven-start career to date, picking up three seconds and two thirds. In her only start at stakes level, she was an unlucky seventh in the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m).||Leda Beck||Corey Campbell|
|13||Pickens||12||A pair of second placings have been the best results to date in a nine-start career for Pickens (NZ) (Belardo), but the Terry Kennedy-trained filly caught the eye with a big finish for seventh in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) and looks likely to appreciate the extra 400 metres this week.||2019 May Sale||CK Hunter, $20,000||Terry Kennedy||Shankar Muniandy|