Black Type Goals for $800,000 Zoustar Mare
Stella Splendida continued her winning ways at Taupo on Saturday, recording her fourth win from eight career starts in the Cosana NZ – Charge Of The Light Brigade (1200m).
The daughter of Zoustar jumped well for Opie Bosson and settled in just behind the speed for the leading hoop. He asked her to improve to sit outside leader Kakadu at the 600m mark and the pair entered a dogfight down the home straight, with Stella Splendida just getting the better of her foe in the final strides to win by a nose, settling the nerves of punters who backed her into $1.80 favouritism.
“It was a good, tough, win and I don’t think the track was really to her liking, but she dug deep to get up and win by a nose,” said Mark Walker, who trains the four-year-old in partnership with Sam Bergerson.
“It was another gun ride from Opie and he just never seems to get beaten in a tight finish.”
The Matamata trainers are now setting their sights towards stakes targets with their mare and are contemplating a trip south to their Riccarton base to try and earn some valuable black-type.
“We’ve got her confidence back, which is really good, and where her rating is currently we may even look to the South Island for a suitable black-type race,” Walker said.
Stella Splendida was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis out of Pencarrow Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $800,000, and the Te Akau principal was pleased to see her notch up another win on Saturday.
“It was an awkwardly run race, but good to see her get there and she’s now won four of her eight starts,” Ellis said.
“I think the slow ground was a touch beyond her too, so it was a good effort given the conditions.
“We considered her the best filly in the sale that year and, rightfully, she topped the sale.
“One of the owners, Ben Kwok, is very loyal and supportive of Te Akau, and also the most successful owner in the world, John Magnier, who founded Coolmore Stud, has a sizeable share.
“We’ve trained horses for Coolmore, but she’s the first horse we’ve had in work for him personally and it’s very exciting to have a progressive winning filly that he’s involved in.
“John got in touch with me to say that he’d been impressed with the horses that we’d been buying at Te Akau and he’d like to be involved in a nice filly.
“I think she’s got more ahead of her and Mark and Sam are doing a good job of placing her as she works through the grades.”