Bonneval (NZ) Claims Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic

Bonneval (NZ) Claims Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic. Photo: Trish Dunell.
Bonneval (NZ) Claims Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic. Photo: Trish Dunell.

The Cambridge stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stole the show in Saturday’s seventh leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, the $100,000 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m), as Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi) edged out her stablemate Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel) to deliver a Baker-Forsman Quinella.

All eyes were on the hot favourite Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) who went into Saturday’s race with an unbeaten seven-from-seven record and a clear lead in the Filly of the Year Series. But the Baker-Forsman pair made it a true staying test and their superior stamina carried the day.

Michael Coleman sent Nicoletta forward to take the lead and inject some speed into the race turning into the back straight, with Bonneval and Matt Cameron not far behind.

Bonneval began to improve approaching the turn, with Volpe Veloce trying to follow her into the race. But then the unbeaten filly began to feel the pinch in her first start beyond 1600 metres, while the Baker-Forsman fillies were still full of running. They kicked clear and fought out the finish, with Bonneval getting the upper hand and scoring by a head.

“It gets tough when you get up to 2000 metres,” Cameron said. “She won really well. She’s just going to improve leaps and bounds. She’s a filly who will benefit from blinkers too. She’s a good filly and she’ll win some good races.”

Bred by City Bloodstock Ltd and raced by Terry Jarvis, Alister Lawrence and John Rattray, Bonneval has now had five starts for two wins, one placing and more than $80,000 in stakes. This was her first Group win, following a last-start third in the Group 3 Wellfield Desert Gold Stakes (1600m).

“Volpe Veloce is an outstanding filly, so we knew the only way we could beat her is if we made it a staying test,” Baker said. “We’ve always had big raps on Bonneval. The mare’s left four stakes winners now.”

Bonneval is out of the Zabeel mare Imposingly, who is also the dam of Group winners Imposing Lass (NZ) (Makfi), Lady Cumquat (Duke Of Marmalade) and Full Of Spirit (Flying Spur).

Bonneval was purchased by Baker Racing for $150,000 at the 2015 Premier Sale.

With Saturday’s win, Bonneval picked up another 8 Filly of the Year Series points and moved into fourth place with 9.5 points. Nicoletta is just ahead of her in third place, with 10 points. Saturday’s third placegetter Devise (NZ) (Darci Brahma) now has 5 points.

Volpe Veloce still leads the Series with 14 points, while the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner La Diosa (NZ) (So You Think) holds second place with 12 points.


The Series continues with the Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 2.

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