4 Win Saturday - Millefiori Marvellous

Date: 26 Mar 2023

4 Win Saturday - Millefiori Marvellous


Making it three wins from four course attempts, Millefiori (4 m Iffraaj - Miss Bluebell, by Savabeel) vanquished her rivals in the $40,000 Triton Pacific Owens Plate (1400 metres) on Saturday at Tauranga.


After recording a dominant victory in the Rating 75 1200 metres on 13 January at Tauranga, Millefiori had most recently staged a big run for fifth in the Rating 75 1300 metres on 4 March at Te Rapa, and rated a top three chance.

Apprentice jockey Temiya Taiaroa (a2), who embellished her record to three wins from four rides for the stable, following recent victories aboard Brando (Savabeel) and Challa (Dissident), Millefiori carried a luxurious 52kg and scored her fifth win in a manner suggesting plenty more to follow. 

Settling last in a field of seven, Millefiori tracked up three wide from the 600m and once presented to the outside she roared home to score by one and three-quarter lengths. 

“She does come from behind and I got a nice position three wide with cover, pretty happy, and the horse was relaxed,” Taiaroa said. 

“I just sat and steered. I had so much horse underneath me, it was awesome.”

On Soft5 footing, Millefiori ran 1400 metres in 1:24.8, last 600m in 34.5, and drifted in betting to pay $6.90 & $3.00 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“It was a good effort to win given her first time in Open Handicap grade and she certainly loves the Tauranga track,” said trainer Mark Walker.

“It was a lovely ride, the mare is getting better with age and we'll now target some black type.”

By proven international stallion Iffraaj (Zafonic), out of a young mare by eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), Millefiori is from the family of Winx (Street Cry) and therefore a very valuable filly.

Her grand-dam, Operavega (Stravinsky), is a half-sister to impressive winner Vegas Showgirl (Al Akbar), who stakes claim to being mother of the undisputable all-time champion Winx - world record holder with 25 Group One victories. 

Owned by Te Akau Millefiori Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), she was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $65,000 at the 2020 Karaka Book 2 Sale, from the draft of Archer Park. 

Te Akau racing manager Reece Trumper said: “She's been a difficult filly to maintain soundness, but the owners have stuck with us and we're getting rewards now.

“Hopefully she's got a stakes win in her and being a relation to Winx she's certainly going to be worth plenty.”

Accepting on behalf of the owners, Tash McDonald said: “The Te Akau team have really believed in ‘Saffie' and although we've had our ups and downs they've continued to proceed with her.

“We love her because she's got the most incredible temperament in the world and she's a really special horse to us.

“Today is really special to me, personally, because my parents are over from the UK, I've got my future mother and father-in-law here (parents of owner Ben Masters) and it's been a great thrill to all be here and watch ‘Saffie' win.

“I really want to say thank you to the horse, Millefiori, because she provides all her owners with so much joy and we can't wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Millefiori was strapped by Amit Gujar. 


Photo credit - Trish Dunnell


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