Saint Cecile All The Way In The Group One New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders Stakes At Te Aroha On Saturday

Monday, March 18, 2002

Saint Cecile well and truly stamped her place in the record books as an outstanding racemare when she took out the $120,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders Stakes on Saturday, for the second year in a row.

Employing identical tactics this year as last, Saint Cecile used her great strength to ping from the gates straight to the lead and to maintain that edge over the rest of the field from wire to post. Although jockey David Walsh needed to push her out strongly towards the line, Saint Cecile never looked in any real danger of being beaten.

The critical difference between last year's victory and the one on Saturday is that the New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders Stakes has been elevated in status from Group 2 to Group1 level.

The Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders Stakes is the only Group 1 race in the country for Fillies and Mares and is one of only two such races in Australasia (the other being the Group 1 STC Coolmore Classic).

The elevation in status was certainly not lost on New Zealand trainers and owners, with the race attracting what all agreed to be one of the most impressive fields of fillies and mares ever assembled in this country. There were 4 Group One winners, 9 Group 2 & 3 winners and the balance of the field being Listed winners or Group placed among the final acceptors.

Even with the unfortunate late scratching of dual Group 1 winner, Final Destination, the field of 16 starters lacked nothing in terms of class.

The final placings were:
1. SAINT CECILE (NZ) 5m by Pompeii Court x Delgatie Queen by Spectacular Love. Owned, Bred and Trained by Nigel and Adair Auret, Wanganui.
2. ELEVENSES (NZ) 4m by Star Way x Celtic Joy by Sir Tristram.
3. ST THERESE (AUS) 4m by Dehere x Moonscent by Aloe.

Also: Honor Bound. Star Satire. Spring Rain. Perceptible. Butterscotch. Grovana. Regency. Hello Dolly. Super Sequel. Durzetta. Gordon's. Soap Opera. Tantamount.

The time of the race was 1.34.81. which was slightly faster than the time Saint Cecile recorded for her win last year of 1.35.11.

As the breeders, owners and trainers of Saint Cecile, Wanganui couple Nigel and Adair Auret were justifiably thrilled with their mare's repeat successful performance. So much so that they have already indicated plans to set Saint Cecile for a hat trick of wins in the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders Stakes again next year.