Ritani (NZ) Fulfils Winter Cup Dream

9 August 2021

Ritani (NZ) claims Saturday's Group Three Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton Park.

A long-range plan came to fruition on Saturday when Ritani (NZ) (Makfi) overpowered her opposition in the $100,000 Group Three Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton Park. 

Bought for $85,000 by Bruce Perry Bloodstock at the 2016 Select Sale at Karaka, Ritani began her career with four wins for owner Lib Petagna and Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh. Subsequently sold to Southlanders Ian and Kerry Taplin for $16,000 on New Zealand Bloodstock’s online subsidiary Gavelhouse.com, the mare has won a further five races and has now earned a total of $213,321.

Saturday was the one that mattered the most for the Taplins, who have had their sights set on the Winter Cup since the autumn and have now trained their first black-type winner.

Ritani was ridden by apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano, who sat close up behind the speed before surging through towards the inside as most of the field came wide at the top of the long Riccarton straight.

Ploughing through the testing ground and hitting the lead with almost 200 metres still to run, Ritani dug deep and turned back a powerful challenge from the last-start Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) winner Justaskme (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) to win by a length and a quarter.

Trainers Kerry and Ian Taplin were overjoyed by Ritani's win. 

“I can’t believe I won – it was such a tough run,” Asano said. “When I asked her, she just kept going and was so tough.”

The Taplins race Ritani in partnership with Gavin and Selina Forbes, who have never previously owned a share in a racehorse. The winning connections were mobbed by overjoyed family and friends as Ritani returned to the winners’ circle. 

“It’s amazing,” Ian Taplin said. “Look at the people with Kerry – just wow. We had the plan three months ago to set her for this race. This is just amazing.”

The winner of the $80,000 Dunstan Feeds 1500 Championship Final (1500m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day 2018 for her previous connections, Ritani has amassed more than $112,000 in stakes for the Taplin and Forbes partnership.

Ritani is by former Westbury Stud shuttle stallion Makfi out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Elegant Emerald, who placed at Listed level and also finished fourth in the Group One Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.

From seven foals to race, Elegant Emerald is the dam of five winners, who have put together a combined total of 28 wins to date.

Vendor Wellfield Lodge
Purchaser Bruce Perry Bloodstock (Masterton)
Breeding Makfi – Elegant Emerald
Sale Lot 856, 2016 Select Sale, $85,000
Bred by W J Bloodstock