Cup Day Double - Elegant Lady So Fine

Date: 19 Nov 2023

Cup Day Double - Elegant Lady So Fine


Trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson made a great start to New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton, winning the $65,000 Dakins Group Rating 65 2000 metres with Elegant Lady (4 m Highly Recommended – Lady Masako, by Iffraaj).


Finishing second at her previous three starts, including a good effort after facing the breeze in the Rating 65 1600 metres on 28 October at Riccarton, Elegant Lady, who won her Maiden over 1900 metres last season at New Plymouth, appeared ready for a step in distance.

Jockey Opie Bosson was able to track likely threat Boomtown Boy (Caravaggio) on the outer, ranged to his outside as they took the lead together at the 300m and got the deciding stride to win by a nose.

It was stern contest between the two most fancied runners, and just reward for the winner.

“I was always going to get there, but the horse on the inside kept digging in,” Bosson said.

On Soft5 footing, Elegant Lady ran 2000 metres in 2:03.6, last 600m in 36.2, and shortened markedly to pay $2.40 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It was a peach of a ride by Opie and a really good effort by the mare to win,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“She really deserved that after being a bit unlucky, the step to 2000 metres was just ideal and I think she can reach a higher mark.”

Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM bought her dam, Lady Masako, for $23,000 as a yearling at the 2015 South Island Sale, and after she was retired from racing, a number of her owners remained involved and have bred from her, including Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM.

Lady Masako ran well on debut in a Maiden 2YO 1300 metres at Hastings, won by subsequent Castletown Stakes (Listed, 1200m) runner-up Honey Rider (Pins). She was retired after two starts and was retained for breeding by Te Akau Cherry Blossom Syndicate who race Elegant Lady in the Te Akau Cherry Blossom 2019 Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

“Elegant Lady’s a homebred filly and that always makes it a bit more special when they win, and for her to win on Cup Day is great too,” Ellis said.

“It’s great to have Opie (Bosson) back on the team in New Zealand, after his fantastic Group One win last Saturday on Imperatriz at Flemington.

“We’ve got such a good team of people looking after the horses at Riccarton, and Hunter (Durrant) reported that Elegant Lady had done really well leading up to the race.

“She’s a lovely mare, with a great attitude, and it's good to see her win in the south after I’d bought her mother at a South Island sale.”



By Fastnet Rock (Danehill) stallion Highly Recommended, Elegant Lady is the second foal from Iffraaj (Zafonic) mare Lady Masako, out of five time winner Lady Sakura (Jungle Pocket), family of second top Two-Year-Old Lady Bay (Kingdom Bay), dam of Grosvenor Championship Stakes (Gr. 2, 2100m) winner Let’s Cruise (Zabeel).

“We know the family well and it’s great to see it producing another promising horse,” Ellis added.

“We trained Lady Bay, who won four in a row as a two-year-old, three of them stakes' races, and Mark (Walker) trained her daughter Let’s Cruise (Zabeel), who was a really good filly that won the Championship Stakes at Ellerslie, and we sold her for good money to America.”

Elegant Lady carries a cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer and inbred on the dam-side to Nureyev, a racehorse with immense turn of foot, Champion French 3YO, and sired more than 20 Champions among his progeny.

Elegant Lady was strapped by Hunter Durrant. 


Photo credit - Ajay Berry -


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