Talented Fillies Clash in NZB Ethereal Stakes

Verry Elleegant (NZ) Claimed the 2018 G3 NZB Ethereal Stakes at Flemington.
Verry Elleegant (NZ) Claimed the 2018 G3 NZB Ethereal Stakes at Flemington.

A talented line-up of contenders for next month’s Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) will clash in Saturday’s A$200,000 Group 3 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) – a race that has special meaning to its sponsors.

Since 2011, the three-year-old fillies’ feature has carried the name of the legendary Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm).

Bred and raced by New Zealand Bloodstock principal Sir Peter Vela in partnership with his late brother Philip, Ethereal won more than $4.7 million during a career that featured four Group 1 victories – the Queensland Oaks (2400m), Caulfield Cup (2400m), Melbourne Cup (3200m) and BMW (2400m).

She won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double in the spring of 2001, and she is still the most recent of 11 horses in history to win both famous races in the same year.

New Zealand Bloodstock is proud to sponsor the Ethereal Stakes, which has unveiled some exciting talent in recent seasons.

The 2014 winner Set Square (Reset) and 2017 winner Pinot (Pierro) each went on to win the VRC Oaks, while last year’s winner Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) won the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Australian Oaks (2400m) the following autumn. The runner-up in last year’s race was Aristia (Lonhro), who won the VRC Oaks.

There was a special result in 2016 when Eleonora (NZ) (Makfi), a granddaughter of Ethereal, won the race. She later placed in the VRC Oaks.

The 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes has attracted a fascinating field of 15 fillies, all looking to establish themselves as leading chances for the Oaks at Flemington on November 7.

The New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes will be run as Race 6 on Saturday with a start time of 3:10pm (5:10pm NZT).

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey
1 Oriental Lily 14 A two-race winner in lower grades, Oriental Lily (Hinchinbrook) stepped up to stakes level last start for a close fourth in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. Peter & Paul Snowden Damian Lane
2 Celestial Falls 10 Celestial Falls (Hinchinbrook) is a stablemate of Group 1 winner Shadow Hero (Pierro), who is a commanding favourite for the VRC Derby (2500m). Celestial Falls gives Mark Newnham a solid chance to also win the fillies' equivalent, having won two out of five so far including a last-start win in the Oaks Trial (1800m) at Flemington. Mark Newnham Ben Melham
3 Leven Lass 2 Bought for $95,000 at Book 1 of Karaka 2018, Leven Lass (NZ) (Reliable Man) was a stylish winner at Bendigo earlier this year and was a last-start sixth in the Edward Manifold Stakes. Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Brett Prebble
4 Snapdancer 6 Snapdancer (Choisir) has had four starts to date for a win, two seconds and a fourth. She ran second in the Listed Exford Plate (1400m) at Flemington, and a last-start fourth in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield. She will be ridden on Saturday by John Allen, who won last year's Ethereal Stakes on Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed). Ciaron Maher & David Eustace John Allen
5 Really Discreet 12 While she has been unplaced in three appearances this spring, Really Discreet (Helmet) showed good ability last season. She won on debut at Sandown, then finished fourth in the Group 2 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m). Phillip Stokes Luke Nolen
6 Presently 4 Hinchinbrook filly Presently has had a win and three placings in her six-start career, but finished only 12th in the Edward Manifold Stakes in her most recent appearance. Ken Keys Dwayne Dunn
7 Vegas Jewel 13 Vegas Jewel (NZ) (Shocking) is out of a half-sister to the dam of champion mare Winx (Street Cry). Purchased for $130,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2018, she has won both of her appearances to date including an easy last-start victory at Moonee Valley. Mark Kavanagh Jordan Childs
8 Gamay 7 Two starts ago, the $110,000 Karaka purchase Gamay (Pierro) won a maiden race at Ballarat by almost four lengths. She then lined up in the Oaks Trial at Flemington, finishing second. Archie Alexander Declan Bates
9 Song Brocade 5 Zoffany filly Song Brocade built to an easy maiden win at Mornington on September 12, but finished 11th in the  Edward Manifold Stakes earlier this month. John Sadler Jye McNeil
10 Atame 15 Atame (Zoustar) has been an improver throughout her three-start career, culminating in a strong last-start maiden victory at Ballarat. Danny O'Brien Damien Oliver
11 Ocean Miss 11 One of the least experienced runners in this field with just two starts under her belt, Ocean Miss (Ocean Park) won on debut at Sale last month before finishing fourth in the Oaks Trial at Flemington. David & Coral Feek Michael Walker
12 Fiorente's Girl 1 After a series of close-up finishes, including behind the subsequent Group 1 Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth (Dundeel), talented filly Fiorente's Girl (Fiorente) broke through for a maiden win at Tatura earlier this month in the sixth start of her career. David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Jamie Mott
13 Contrition 9 Bought for only $35,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2018, Tavistock filly Contrition has made a good impression in her brief two-start career. She was beaten by a nose when second on debut at Bairnsdale last month, then won by four and three-quarter lengths at Kyneton on October 4. Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jr) Michael Dee
14 Cape Leonard 8 Another filly in this field having just her third start, Cape Leonard (Fiorente) finished only seventh on debut last month. She lined up at 150-to-one odds in the Oaks Trial in her second start, finishing a close third. Pat Carey  
15 Isola Comacina 3 Bullbars filly Isola Comacina (NZ) has finished third and fourth in her two starts to date at Wangaratta and Ballarat. Andrew Noblet  

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