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  • Te Akau Racing


One of three in the race for trainer Jamie Richards, Campionessa (3 f Contributer – Bella Contributer, by O’Reilly) recorded a strong debut victory in the $10,000 Burton Maiden 3YO 1215 metres on 2 December at Rotorua.

After getting back before quickening down the outside to win stylishly at the trials on 12 November at Ellerslie, there was no such tardiness on this occasion by Campionessa as she jumped well and found a perfect spot in the trail for rider Danielle Johnson. She was then able to push race favourite Ridgeview Chief (Niagara) wider turning for home, quickened to lead mid-straight and pinned her ears back.

On footing upgraded to Dead6 after race one, Campionessa won by a neat length, in 1:13.1, last 600m 35.7, and paid $3.80 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote. Stable-mate debutantes Maid of Orleans (Sacred Falls) fought solidly for third and Speed of Light (Proisir) made ground for sixth.

Owned by Te Akau Campionessa Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), she was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $60,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale, from the draft of Mapperley Stud, who stand her sire.

From the first NZ crop of Contributer (High Chaparral), with 10 winners to date, she is out of three-time winning O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) mare Bella Carolina.

Australian Middle Distance Horse of the Year Contributer (High Chaparral) was a dual Group One winner of the Chipping Norton (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Ranvet Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m). His sire, High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells), winner of six Group 1 races including the English and Irish Derbies, has sired 16 individual Group One winners of 33 races internationally and already a noted sire of sires.

“She’s a filly by a promising sire and I thought that was a very nice win,” Ellis said. “We bought her on the Gold Coast, at the June Sale, after she was passed in. We’ve had success buying there previously and I’m thrilled for the owners.

“She was a really nice medium sized filly with lovely markings, walked well, from a good family, with a great line-up of sires on her dam-side. She’s always shown some ability and I think she’ll develop into a good racehorse.”

Dam, Bella Carolina, won three times to 1400 metres and her four foals to date have all raced. Tennessee (Per Incanto) won the Wellesley Stakes (Listed, 1000m) at her second start and finished fourth in both the Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) and Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) as a two-year-old. While Maestro (He’s Remarkable) has won in Singapore, and He’s McCaw (He’s Remarkable) has placed five times in the Australia.

In addition, the dam sires in her pedigree are some of the best to ever stand in New Zealand: Champion Sire O’Reilly, and in turn Centaine, and Noble Bijou. While through her sire lines, the filly carries a cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer.

“The season has been going four months and it’s an incredible achievement to have trained 63 winners,” Ellis said.

“In his career, Jamie (Richards) has already trained over 500 winners, including 82 black type wins, in New Zealand alone, and $18 million in prize money – quite incredible. He’s doing such a good job with the horses.

“It’s been a big week. We’ve spent a couple of days looking at yearlings ahead of the sales in January at Karaka, and so far the standard has been very high.

“We’re really looking forward to inspecting all the yearlings in the sale, and buying more after the success of the Ready to Run Sale, where we sold all nine horses in 48-hours. It’s very encouraging heading into January.”

Campionessa was strapped by Trevor Stewart.

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