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  • Te Akau Racing


Furthering a smart record, Campionessa (4 m Contributer – Bella Carolina, by O’Reilly) recorded back-to-back victories by claiming the $45,000 Dunstan Feeds Rating 74 1600 metres on 30 January at Ellerslie.

After trying valiantly off a wide gate (14) for fifth to subsequent Anniversary Handicap (Gr. 3, 1600m) winner Bankers Choice (Mongolian Khan) in the Stella Artois Championship Final (Special Conditions, 1500m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie, Campionessa had easily won a Rating 74 1600 metres on 19 January at Te Rapa.

Remaining in same grade and distance, but up two-kilos to carry 57kg, Campionessa rated a top three prospect despite drawing the outside (11), and it was the tactical perfection by Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson that won the day.

Sneaking forward when the opportunity was presented early in proceedings, Bosson had Campionessa travelling nicely four back on the outer. Lodging an attack from six lengths astern at the 600m, she received a bump early in the straight but found plenty under a top ride to annul the challengers.

On Good3 footing, Campionessa ran the 1600 metres in a solid 1:35.8 and shortened in betting to pay $2.70 & $1.30 as race favourite.

“That was another good tough effort and she was very well ridden by Opie,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “He ended up in a lovely spot from a tricky draw (11), so we are happy with how well that played out.

“She’s a progressive mare that didn’t have a lot of luck early in her campaign, she was caught very wide here in the Dunstan and kept up a good gallop. She won well at Te Rapa, was good again today and showed the class that she’s got.”

Now able to space her races, Richards said Campionessa would prepare for $60,000 Kaimai Stakes (Listed, 2000m) on 26 February at Matamata.

Recording her first win from two attempts at Ellerslie, Campionessa has now won four of nine starts for the Te Akau Campionessa Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), having been purchased for A$60,000 by David Ellis CNZM at 2019 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale from draft of Mapperley Stud who stand her sire.

“That was a great effort, as we normally wouldn’t back horses up 11 days after last racing, but Jamie (Richards) knows her well and remaining in the same grade at a mile just looked a nice race for her,” Ellis said.

“Again, Opie showed his class and that’s what makes him the best in New Zealand. He’s won 86 Group 1 races and he is as fit and keen as he’s ever been, and it’s certainly showing.

“I’m thrilled for the owners. We had seen her at Karaka, when she was passed in as a yearling, and Simms Davison (Mapperley Stud) took her to sell on the Gold Coast, where she was passed in again. Jamie (Richards), Joe (Walls) and I were there and made an offer of $60,000.

“Contributer was a pretty exciting racehorse and doing a great job at stud. He’s already produced 11 winners of 16 races this season, and we have some nice young horses by him in the stable that are coming up well.”

Campionessa is from the first NZ crop of Australian Middle Distance Horse of the Year Contributer (High Chaparral), the dual Group 1 winner of Chipping Norton (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Ranvet Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m). His sire High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) was winner of six Group 1 races including the English and Irish Derbies and, with proven class at stud, he is already noted sire of sires.

Campionessa’s dam Bella Carolina (O’Reilly) won three times to 1400 metres and left four individual winners of nine races. 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 the Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) as a two-year-old. While Maestro (He’s Remarkable) won twice in Singapore, He’s McCaw (He’s Remarkable) placed five times in Australia and Aramis, year-younger brother to Campionessa, has won in Australia.

In addition, 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 mare carries a cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer.

At the time of purchase, Davison said: “She’s a lovely filly, she’s always been my pick of the yearlings and a staff favourite all the way through. She’s a nice athletic type and always had a presence in the paddock from an early age, even as weanling there was something sexy about her.

“I’m glad she’s going to be trained by Jamie (Richards) at Te Akau and I’m happy that another nice Contributer filly has gone to David Ellis because he’s our biggest buyer and it’s good exposure for the stallion to have progeny in a top stable where they will get every chance.”

Campionessa was strapped by Jamie Richards.

Story – Te Akau Racing

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