Verona (NZ) Announces Arrival in Australia

19 April 2022

Verona (NZ) wins the A$160,000 Group Three ACY Securities Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick.

Close up behind some of New Zealand’s elite three-year-olds through the summer months, Verona (NZ) (Belardo) has wasted no time in making her mark across the Tasman. 

The Kiwi filly scored a superb win in Saturday’s A$160,000 Group Three ACY Securities Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick, which was only her second start in Australia. Bought for a mere $8000 from Book 3 of Karaka 2020, she has now earned A$131,854 in a seven-start, two-win career.

Originally trained and part-owned by Jenna Mahoney, Verona was a debut winner at Te Aroha in the spring and later finished seventh behind La Crique (NZ) (Vadamos) at Tauranga, fifth behind Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) in the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m), fourth behind Self Obsession (NZ) (Shocking) in the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m), and fourth behind Pin Me Up (NZ) (Pins) in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), all at Ellerslie.

Those performances did not go unnoticed, and Verona was subsequently sold to clients of the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable. After a fifth placing at Warwick Farm on her Australian debut, the quality filly stepped up to the big time in style on Saturday.

Relishing stretching out from 1600 to 2000 metres, Verona quickened superbly to sprint out of the pack in the home straight, putting herself out of reach of the stakes-performed placegetters Maurice’s Medad (Maurice) and Straight Arron (Fastnet Rock) and winning by half a length.

“She was well bought from New Zealand,” stable representative Jo Gerard-Dubord said. “The Boxall family are involved, it’s their colours, so it’s good to get a win for them.

“She landed here about 10 days after the Karaka Million, so she has been here for a while. She spent a bit of time at the beach, and we have taken our time with her.

“We knew there was plenty of improvement in her after last start, but probably not that much improvement, so that was good. She was still very new in the run last time and a bit shy around horses, and obviously the step up in trip was always going to be a big plus too.

“She’ll probably have to carry on to Queensland now. Top of the ground is no issue for her – she gets through the wet, but top of the ground will be just as good.”

Verona was bred by Don and Dame Wendy Pye and is closely related to their Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) placegetter Appellant (NZ) (Showcasing).

Vendor Haunui Farm
Purchaser Cypress Point Farms (Auckland)
Breeding Belardo – Spamalot
Sale Lot 1213, Karaka 2020 Book 3, $8000
Bred by Don Pye & Dame Wendy Pye