Sudbina (NZ) Follows in Half-Sister’s NZB Filly of the Year Footsteps

21 January 2024

Sudbina (NZ). Photo: Race Images NZ

A half-sister to a former New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year has joined the points table for the 2023-24 edition of the prestigious series.

Sudbina (NZ) (Almanzor) earned 6 points with her victory in Saturday’s $120,000 Group Three New Zealand Bloodstock Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham. That puts the promising filly straight into equal sixth on the table alongside Quintessa (NZ) (Shamus Award).

By star Cambridge Stud stallion Almanzor, Sudbina is a half-sister to Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj), who won the Filly of the Year title in the 2012-13 season after winning the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m), Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) and Group Two Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m). She also placed in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m), and she went on to black-type success in the breeding barn as the dam of French Group Three performer Know Thyself (Galileo).

Other close relatives in a high-class family include Group One performers Political Debate (So You Think), Foreteller (Dansili), Grand Jete (Dansili) and sires Showcasing and Camacho.

Sudbina had shown her share of that family ability in her first six career starts before Saturday’s Desert Gold, winning twice and finishing a close sixth against an elite field in the Group Two Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group Three Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m).

The Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained filly went to a new level on Saturday, settling at the tail of the field before swooping around the pack at the home turn and lodging her bid down the outside.

Favourite Grail Seeker (NZ) (Iffraaj) went with her and the pair soon powered clear of the rest of the field, fighting out a tight battle to the finish that was won by Sudbina by three-quarters of a length.

“She had an electric turn of foot,” winning jockey Kozzi Asano said. “I thought I might have gone too early.

“I just tried to keep her in her rhythm for most of the race today, and then off she went. Once she got a clear run, she was away.

“The way she accelerated at the end of the race today, I’d say that more distance would be no problem for her.”

Sudbina has now had seven starts for three wins, a placing and $114,765 in stakes for owner-breeders Frantic Bloodstock and Haunui Bloodstock.

“We were disappointed when we drew wide during the week, but the way the track has worked out and the way this race ended up being run, it probably worked in our favour a little bit,” Wellwood said. “What she did there was very nice.

“We’ve been scratching our heads a little bit in terms of what distance might suit her best. We were just hoping she’d get the mile in this race, but off today’s performance, perhaps she might go even further. We’ll talk to her connections and work out a plan from here.”

Grail Seeker’s runner-up finish lifted her to 5 points in the NZB Filly of the Year Series, while the third-placed The Entertainer (NZ) (Staphanos) earned her first 1.5 points of the series.

Molly Bloom (NZ) (Ace High) remains a dominant leader on 20 points, with Impendabelle (Impending) on 15 and Still Bangon (NZ) (Satono Aladdin) on 10.

The next leg in the NZB Filly of the Year Series is the $175,000 Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m), which will be run at Te Rapa on February 10.