Champion 2YO Maven Belle Back

Date: 9 Jan 2023

Champion 2YO Maven Belle Back


Soft as you like, Champion Two-Year-Old Maven Belle (3 f Burgundy - Doyenne, by Kilimanjaro) resumed racing with an emphatic victory in the $45,000 H R Fisken & Sons 3YO 1200 metres on 8 January at Pukekohe.


Bred at Te Akau, Maven Belle is owned by the Te Akau Maven Belle Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM) after shares to Te Akau owners were offered in her as a weanling.

It was a little more than a year since she won on debut over 1000 metres at Te Aroha, where she quickened clear for a smart win, and only continued to improve thereafter.

The star filly included victories in the Matamata Breeders Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) and Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) on her way to the title, before being held up with injury.

She ran home fine without being pressured when trialling on 23 December at Matamata, and trainer Mark Walker presented her in magnificent order for the fresh-up assignment.

Beautifully poised in her preliminary, Maven Belle was given a confident ride by Opie Bosson, settling second last before presenting widest at the 400m and showed to be in another class as she strode clear.

“It was really good,” said trainer Mark Walker. “I loved the way she relaxed and finished the race off.

“She'll improve for it. She sweated up a bit in the parade ring and will be all set now for the Almanzor Trophy.”

The race Walker was referring, the $130,000 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (Gr. 3, 1200m), was won last year by stable-mate Sword Of State (Snitzel) - now resident stallion at Cambridge Stud - delivering the quinella with triple Group 1 winner Imperatriz. It is held during the six-race Karaka Million twilight programme on Saturday 21 January at Pukekohe.

“Opie (Bosson) knew what he was doing and was pretty soft on her in the finish,” Walker added

“That will tidy her up pretty nicely I think, and she'll probably improve again out of the Almanzor race. She's quite exciting and I think she'd get a mile no sweat.”

On Soft6 footing, Maven Belle ran 1200 metres in 1:09.9, last 600m in 33.0, scoring by two and a half lengths, and returned $2.10 & $1.20 on the NZ TAB tote.

By five-time stakes' winner Burgundy (Redoute's Choice), from stakes' placed winner of six to 2000 metres Doyenne (Kilimanjaro), Maven Belle is closely related to recent dual Group One winner Levante (Proisir).

Maven Belle is a filly with size, quality, class, presence, and temperament to match.

“She is a bloody good filly and it's great to see her come back as a three-year-old after having surgery on a fetlock,” co-breeders David Ellis CNZM said.

“She had to carry top weight (58kg), but Mark (Walker) was very confident that she would run well today and the rest of her three-year-old season looks pretty exciting to me.

“She's a homebred filly that was Champion Two-Year-Old, so she's very dear to our hearts.

“Burgundy has had the most amazing 10 days as a sire and last week we trifectaed a race with his progeny at Matamata, and his death in 2019 was a massive loss to the industry.”

Ellis watched the race from the sales ground at the Magic Millions complex on the Gold Coast, where he is preparing for the 2023 Gold Coast Yearling Sale which commences on Tuesday 10 January.

“We're currently inspecting the Cambridge Stud yearlings and they've got a nice draft over here,” Ellis said.

“We're lucky that we came over to the Hunter Valley four weeks ago and looked at over 400 horses, so we're now getting our second look at a lot of them.

“I'm over here with Marcus Corban and our racing manager Reece Trumper, and we'll see how we go once the auctions get underway on Tuesday.”

Maven Belle was strapped by Sarah West.

Photo credit -


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