Ripple Victory Sees Bramble Rose As New Zealand Bloodstock Filly Of The Year

3 March 2003

The winner of the 2002-03 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series was decided on Saturday after the running of the Gr.2 Fayette Park Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie.

The result of the prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series hinged on the performance of one filly, Lafleur (Zabeel x Desert Lily), in the tenth and final race of the Series.

Lafleur, the favourite with punters on Saturday, had to win to take the title from points leader Bramble Rose (Shinko King x Images), or run second to share the title with the Shinko King filly.

However, Saturday's race clearly belonged to the Frank & Craig Ritchie trained galloper Raspberry Ripple (Quest For Fame x Unbeleevable) who, unlike Lafleur, relished the soft track conditions to win the race 3 � lengths clear of Etoile Du Nord (Zabeel x You Remember Me) with Showgirl (Volksraad x Show Belle) a further neck away in third.

The title of 2002-03 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year has been sought after by many talented fillies since the Series began last September.

Initially it looked like Southern filly The Jewel (O'Reilly x The Grin) would be the one to beat, after her sensational win in the Gr.1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas. However, the decision was made not to return The Jewel to the North for the final few races in the Series allowing Bramble Rose to earn enough points to pass The Jewel on the points table.

Bramble Rose began to notch up points in the Series when she ran third in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic on Boxing Day last December, behind Natalie Wood (Yachtie x Westside Story) and Penny Gem (Pentire x Gemscay). This run was followed by yet another third in the Gr.2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes behind Lafleur and Milzeel (Zabeel x Miltak).

It was Bramble Rose's classy performance winning the Gr.1 Drake International Fashions in the Field New Zealand Oaks that gave her the points she really needed to compete with the likes of The Jewel for the title. The win placed her second on the points table with 16 points, not far behind The Jewel with 19 points.

Bramble Rose finally took the lead from The Jewel after running second to Lafleur in the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic and held onto the lead after Lafleur's disappointing sixth on Saturday.

Lafleur's dislike for the soft conditions in the Fayette Park Championship Stakes saw her owners Peter and Philip Vela just miss winning their third Filly of the Year title in 4 years. The brothers bred last years Filly of the Year winner Vapour Trail (Jetball x Devil's Lair), which was raced by Bruce Sherwin.

The 2002-03 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year, Bramble Rose, was purchased by former Olympic Gold Medal Equestrian Mark Todd at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2001 Select Fillies Sale for $32,000. Todd races the filly in partnership with T.V presenter Paul Holmes & Telecom NZ CEO Theresa Gattung. The trio will be presented with the Filly of the Year trophy and prize money at the annual racing awards dinner held later this year.

The final points table for the 2002-03 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series is as follows

Horse Points
Bramble Rose 20
The Jewel 19
Lafleur 16
Volksini 10.5
Natalie Wood 8
Raspberry Ripple 8
Chestpeak 7
Danceinthesun 6
Gypsy Babe 6
Molly Dot Com 6
Etoile Du Nord 4
Milzeel 4
Penny Gem 4
Showgirl 4
Lady Annaliese 3.5
Bailey's On Ice 3
Country Class 3
Original Sin 2
Charmaine 1.5
Midnight Call 1.5
Savuka 1.5
Florida 1

Points for the 2002-2003 Series were awarded as follows:
Group 1: First � 12 points, Second � 7 points, Third � 3.5 points
Group 2: First � 8 points, Second - 4 points, Third � 2 points
Group 3: First - 6 points, Second - 3 points, Third - 1.5 points
Listed: First - 4 points, Seco