Boxing Day Win 5 - Festivity Flies, Stable Quinella

Date: 27 Dec 2021

Boxing Day Win 5 - Festivity Flies, Stable Quinella


Champion trainer Jamie Richards had another Boxing Day to remember, when Festivity  (5 m I Am Invincible - Mabsam, by Stratum) won the $80,000 Hallmark Stud Handicap (Listed, 1200m) at Ellerslie.


A year earlier, Richards celebrated six winners, this year following up with five (four Ellerslie, one Awapuni) and after beginning the day with quinella in 2YO 1100 metres - Grace ‘N' Grey (Spirit of Boom) and Dynastic (Almanzor) - he ended the haul with Festivity beating stable-mate Vamos Bebe (I Am Invincible).

“We put her out after a wet spring, where things didn't go to plan, gave her a couple of trials and this has been her target for a little while,” Richards said.

“I'm thrilled she was able to do that, while gutted that Vamos Bebe wasn't able to get some payback from the race last season. They've both run really well.

“They are both stakes' mares by I Am Invincible and worth a lot of money.”

Impressive winning on debut over 1100 metres in December 2019, Festivity has fashioned a tremendous record, six wins from 12 starts, and recorded five wins over 1200 metres.

Despite a wide trip under jockey Opie Bosson, who won four on the card, including three stakes' races for Te Akau, Festivity challenged brave Vamos Bebe over concluding stages to score by a short head.

“It's been a great day and the team is really firing and it's good to be part of it,” Bosson said. It's a dream job and I wouldn't want to give it up.”

“I thought her (Festivity) trial was just a bit average the other day, but I think it must come down to the wet track. Today, she raced a lot more fiercely and wanted to be there.”

On superb Dead4 footing, Festivity ran 1200 metres in 1:09.9 and held firm in betting to return $4.10 & $1.70 on NZ TAB tote.

“She's another nice filly, mare now, that Dave (Ellis) bought at Karaka, and she's part of a filly breeding syndicate,” Richards said.

“She's in the Railway (1 Jan.), but whether she runs there I'm not entirely sure. But, there's the Telegraph (15 Jan.) and other stakes' races to look at. We'll take a few days to think about it and see what Opie thinks.”

Festivity was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM for $410,000 at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from draft of Windsor Park Stud, and owned by Te Akau 2018 Fabulous Fillies' Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

“This morning, I said to my family that this day last year we won six races, but thought today could be tougher,” Ellis said. “To win five is a big thrill.”

“I paid a bit for Festivity as a yearling, but she's been a tremendous performer and still has the potential to win at higher levels. It was a pretty smart win, I thought, and she's got more in the tank.

“Being a stakes' winner adds considerably to what is already really good residual value and Jamie (Richards) has done such a good job of training her.

“It's great for the owners because in the syndicate for which we also bought Melody Belle's half-sister Exaltation. She's racing again in the next few days and is in foal to Savabeel, which is exciting.

“Opie is just on fire and he'll have to come and work out at Te Akau Stud more often. Since he's been out there, he's got his weight right, is fit, and very focussed.”

Festivity was strapped by Liam Cunningham.


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