Challengers Shoot for Filly of the Year Series Lead

Dijon Bleu (NZ) winning the 2018 Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic.
Dijon Bleu (NZ) winning the 2018 Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic.

The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series is likely to have a new leader following the running of the seventh leg, the $100,000 Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Media Sensation (I Am Invincible) has held the top spot since her victory in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) in early November, but with that filly now in the spelling paddock, the race is wide open.

Saturday’s race features three fillies who are well within striking distance on the leaderboard. Secret Allure (NZ) (Zacinto) sits in second place with 10 points, while Imelda Mary (NZ) (Ferlax) and Queen of Diamonds (NZ) (Savabeel) are just behind on 8 each.

Saturday’s race is worth 8 points to the winner, 4 for second and two for third, so any of those three can take the lead if they win the race. A second placing would be enough for Secret Allure, who represents the same owners and trainer as last season’s Filly of the Year Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy).

Other interesting runners in Saturday’s race include the Karaka Million 3YO Classic runner-up The Real Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) and promising performers such as Savy Yong Blonk (NZ) (Savabeel), Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) and Media Sensation’s stablemate Star Karen (Camelot).

The Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic will be run as Race 4 on Saturday with a start time of 2:10pm.

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey
1 The Real Beel 8 The Real Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) showed ability last season, placing in the Group 2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) and competing in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m). After a couple of disappointing performances, she turned everything around with a huge performance in last month's Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m). Sent out as a $162 outsider, she made her move a long way from home and finished a close second. Jim Pender Sam Collett
2 Imelda Mary 4 Fifth in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) earlier in the season, Imelda Mary (NZ) (Ferlax) scored an overdue maiden win in December and added a stylish victory in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on New Year's Day. Dropping to 1600 metres for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic, she made up late ground for eighth. Wayne Hillis Cameron Lammas
3 Queen of Diamonds 13 Queen of Diamonds (NZ) (Savabeel) was a $640,000 yearling purchase at Karaka and showed special talent from very early in her career, winning a Te Rapa maiden race by four and three-quarter lengths. She added the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) in her next start, then ran third in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and a close fourth in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic. Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Matt Cameron
4 Secret Allure 2 Representing the same connections as last year's Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic winner and New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy), the Zacinto filly Secret Allure (NZ) was a Listed winner last season. As a three-year-old she has finished fourth in the 1000 Guineas, eighth in the Eulogy Stakes and second in the Royal Stakes before a last-start win in the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m). Lisa Latta Jonathan Riddell
5 Savy Yong Blonk 7 Savabeel filly Savy Yong Blonk (NZ) finished eighth on debut, then scored impressive wins in her second or third starts. She finished seventh in the Desert Gold Stakes last start, doing her best work in the last 200 metres. Jamie Richards Michael Rodd
6 Sentimental Miss 11 Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) has performed creditably this season, winning at Otaki in November before finishing third in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m), fifth in the Eulogy Stakes and sixth in the Desert Gold Stakes. Lisa Latta Johnathan Parkes
7 Sunny Rose 5 Carrying the colours of her breeders and part-owners Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan, Tavistock filly Sunny Rose (NZ) won at Tauranga in December and has been close up in second and third in two subsequent appearances. Stephen Autridge Andrew Calder
8 Dare to Compare 3 Jakkalberry filly Dare to Compare (NZ) scored a two-length maiden win over 2100 metres two starts back. She has placed in one of her five other starts, and she was fifth at Te Rapa in her most recent appearance. Robert Priscott Craig Grylls
9 Standing Ovation 6 Standing Ovation (NZ) (Showcasing) has had six starts for a win and three placings, and she ran on strongly late for sixth over 1400 metres in her last start. Nigel Tiley Sam Spratt
10 Star Karen 9 Star Karen (Camelot) took on stakes class in just her second start, finishing a close seventh in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m). She was a last-start maiden winner over 2100 metres at Ruakaka. Peter & Dawn Williams Michael Coleman
11 Nasha Riva 12 A daughter of Shocking, Nasha Riva (NZ) began her career with a third and a first. Things went wrong in the running when she finished 10th at Tauranga last start. Jim Pender Lynsey Satherley
12 Nerve Not Verve 1 Nerve Not Verve (NZ) (Shocking) has had two starts for two second placings, finishing just behind the talented types Pullyoursocksup (NZ) (Thewayyouare) and Sword in Stone (NZ) (Redwood). Michael Moroney & Pam Gerard Jason Waddell
13 Kiwianna 10 Cape Blanco filly Kiwianna (NZ) has had three starts for a ninth on debut at Matamata, a third at Te Aroha and a fifth at Te Rapa. Stephen Marsh Troy Harris

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