Emily Margaret (NZ) Out to Extend Southern Filly Dominance

Emily Margaret (NZ) winning the second leg of the 2018-19 Southern Filly of the Year Series.
Emily Margaret (NZ) winning the second leg of the 2018-19 Southern Filly of the Year Series.

Already the winner of the first and second legs of the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series, Emily Margaret (NZ) (Pins) goes into this Saturday’s third leg with an almost unassailable lead.

The Riccarton filly has earned the perfect score of 14 points so far, putting her 10 points ahead of nearest rivals Dreamtesta (NZ) (Testa Rossa) and Wekaforce (NZ) (Showcasing).

Victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton would lift her to 21 points and guarantee her the title for 2018-19 season.

Emily Margaret kicked off the Series with a win in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) in September, and it was the same result when the Series resumed in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) on March 2.

Since then, the grey filly has travelled to Trentham and beaten some of the North Island’s best three-year-olds with a Group 2 victory in the $100,000 Wellington Guineas (1400m). Her owners, Rodger and Emily Finlay, donated their winnings to a fund-raiser following the tragic events in their home town of Christchurch the previous day.

Bought at Karaka for $55,000 as a yearling, Emily Margaret has earned $152,625 in stakes. Lot 5 in the upcoming 2019 South Island Sale, a colt by Zacinto, is out of a half-sister to the star filly.

But Emily Margaret will have to beat a talented field of fillies if she is to continue her Southern Filly Series dominance. NZB Insurance Stakes runner-up Dreamtesta is back for a rematch, while Secret Allure (NZ) (Zacinto) and Mohaka (NZ) (Nadeem) are proven black-type performers, and a host of others have won impressively in lower grades.

Like the other three races in the Series, Saturday’s NZB Airfreight Stakes is worth 7 points to the winner, with 4 points for second and 2 for third.

The NZB Airfreight Stakes will be run as Race 7 at Riccarton on Saturday with a start time of 3:29pm.

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey
1 Emily Margaret 6 The dominant filly in the South Island this season, Emily Margaret (NZ) (Pins) has won both previous legs of this Series - the Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) and the NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m). She also scored a brilliant last-start win in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham. The only query is the 1600m distance, with three previous starts for no wins or placings. Kevin & Pam Hughes Jacob Lowry
2 Secret Allure 11 Secret Allure (NZ) (Zacinto) was a stakes winner at this track last season in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1200m). She returned for a close fourth in the Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m), then placed in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) and won the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m). She is dropping back to 1600m after failing to see out the distance of the Group 2 Lowland Stakes (2100m). Lisa Latta Lisa Allpress
3 Dreamtesta 12 Unplaced in the Canterbury Belle Stakes in the spring, Dreamtesta (NZ) (Testa Rossa) has developed into a quality black-type performer since then. She ran a close second to Air Max (NZ) (Nadeem) in the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m), beating subsequent stakes winner Weaponry (NZ) (Declaration of War). In her last start, she produced a strong finish for second to Emily Margaret in the NZB Insurance Stakes. Neill Ridley BB Hong
4 Mohaka 5 Before scoring a deserved maiden win last start, Mohaka (NZ) (Nadeem) had placed in four of her five starts including the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) and Zacinto Stakes (1600m). Her only failure was in the Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas. Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen Jason Laking
5 Our Hail Mary 14 Our Hail Mary (NZ) (Ocean Park) scored brilliant wins in both of her first two starts. She encountered plenty of trouble at this track last start, striking herself during the running and pulling a shoe along with a portion of her hoof, but she still ran on to finish sixth. Allan Sharrock Johnathan Parkes
6 Platinum Rapper 4 Makfi filly Platinum Rapper (NZ) has won twice in her six-start career, beating subsequent Group 1 winner Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) and Group 3-placed Blue On Black (Camelot) in the process. She was a solid fifth in her only previous start at stakes level, last season's Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m). Lisa Latta Chris Johnson
7 Higher Power 2 Higher Power (NZ) (Power) scored a very impressive maiden win last start over this distance. After being blocked in the early part of the straight, she stormed home to win in a tight finish. Jeff Lynds Darryl Bradley
8 Larippa 8 A daughter of Rip Van Winkle, Larippa (NZ) won over this distance in early March. In her only start since then, she struck bad luck and finished sixth. Brian & Shane Anderton Terry Moseley
9 Miss Curious 13 Miss Curious (NZ) (Nom du Jeu) performed with credit in some strong races in the spring, finishing fifth in the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) and a close sixth in the Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas. Since scoring an easy maiden win in late January, she has finished third, fifth and fifth. Danny Frye Brett Murray
10 Thunder Bay 7 14th in the Canterbury Belle Stakes in September, Thunder Bay (NZ) (Niagara) looked a different horse in a last-start maiden win at Ashburton. She took over at the top of the straight and romped to victory by three lengths. Michael & Matthew Pitman Kavish Chowdhoory
11 Severine 9 Pins filly Severine (NZ) was an eye-catching fourth in the NZB Insurance Stakes two starts ago. She then lined up at Riccarton on March 23, finishing seventh. Andrew Carston Doni Prastiyou
12 Miss Valencia 3 Otaki visitor Miss Valencia (NZ) (Ocean Park) had no luck when unplaced in the Lowland Stakes two starts back. In her only apperance since then, she made up ground late in the race for fifth over 1400 metres at Riccarton. Johno Benner & Hollie Wynyard Samantha Wynne
13 Norma Jean 10 Norma Jean (NZ) (Coats Choice) is still a maiden but has shown plenty of promise, including a late-closing second over 1400 metres at Ashburton last start. Lance Robinson Corey Campbell
14 More Jools 1 More Jools (More Than Ready) has competed in strong company this season, finishing 10th in the Dunedin Guineas (1500m), fourth in the Southland Guineas (1600m) and 11th in the NZB Insurance Stakes. Jo-Anne Dalton Courtney Barnes

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