Derby Day Win No.5 - Amarelinha

Date: 8 Mar 2021

Derby Day Win No.5 - Amarelinha


Hard fought, but make that five on Derby Day for Te Akau Racing trainer Jamie Richards after Amarelinha  (3 f Savabeel - Hopscotch, by O'Reilly) took out the $70,000 McKee Family Sunline Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m) on Sunday 7 March at Ellerslie.


Richards has made the course his own in recent times, winning six on Boxing Day, three New Year's Day, three on Karaka Million night, and five on Derby Day, to sharpen an overall course strike rate of 3.9.

In a nail-biting finish, Amarelinha reeled in pacemaker Needle and Thread (Makfi), an impressive course winner of the Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) on 1 January, on the line.

“I thought I may have got there on the line,” said rider Opie Bosson. “Through the running we had to make a couple of short runs just to get closer, after being dragged about four lengths further back than we wanted to be, but it was a good effort in the end.

“On a better track she's a lot better horse. We hope she backs up for the Oaks and I'm sure Jamie (Richards) and the team will have her right.”

Void of her normal acceleration on footing downgraded to Slow8, Amarelinha covered the 2100 metres in 2:14.8.

“I'm so lucky I've got David Ellis buying these horses and I'm very lucky to be riding them,” Bosson added.

Impressive winning the Eight Carat Classic (Group 2, 1600m) and narrowly beaten by 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Aegon (Sacred Falls) in a stirring finish to the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m), both at Ellerslie, she was exceptional winning the David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (Gr. 2, 2000m) on 13 February at Te Rapa, and extended her record to four wins and two seconds, from six starts, for Te Akau Hopskip'n'jump Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

“It was unfortunate when Opie (Bosson) tried to get forward and get mobile, they all dug up inside him, as they do, I guess, when $1.30 shot comes around,” said Richards, breathing a sigh of relief.

“She was very wide from the 600m and she's only just done it, but the second horse is no slouch. She's got very good form and loves Ellerslie. So, we'll take a bit out of that and head to Wellington in a fortnight with a bit of confidence that she's ready to go.”

Richards was alluding to the NZ Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) on 20 March at Trentham.

“I liked the way she pinned her ears back and had a crack,” Richards added. “She had an opportunity to cruise, with Dragon Queen (third) inside her, and think that it was job done but they were wide apart and a good effort to get past her (Needle and Thread).

“I'm really proud of her and she's a class filly that Dave (Ellis) bought from Karaka. She's got an exciting future.

“She has a little bit of improvement to come, three weeks since Te Rapa, and a few days at the water treadmill, so she's got a little tighten of the screws yet.”

Having now won three legs of the New Zealand Bloodstock Fillies of the Year Series, Amarelinha leads the Points Table on 22, while 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winning stable-mate Kahma Lass (Darci Brahma) is third on 15 points.

The NZB Filly of the Year Honour Roll contains five previous winners trained by Te Akau: Shikoba (Chief Bearhart), Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago), Insouciant (Keeper), King's Rose (Redoute's Choice), and Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago). A series with both prestige and huge benefits for the commercial breeding appeal of fillies, understandably it has been an important factor in decisions around a filly like Amarelinha.

“To win half the card on Derby Day with horses that Jamie and I have bought, and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) has syndicated, is a thrill beyond belief,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM, who purchased Amarelinha for $300,000 at the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Waikato Stud.

“They were all there to win and you can't win all the time, but they delivered, and Jamie has kept up a phenomenal strike rate (2.7) through this ongoing Summer Carnival at Ellerslie.

“We put a lot of emphasis on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, which is highly sought after, and this filly has a great chance of winning it. It's very exciting for her owners and means so much to the future value of the filly and her progeny.

“It was also a great day of riding by Opie (Bosson) and Danielle (Johnson), and I thought Joe's (Kamaruddin) in the fourth race aboard Markus Aurelius was from an apprentice that's really going places. We think he's going to make it and we're given him the chance he needs.

“It's been an incredibly exciting day, quite overwhelming, and our owners will take away some special memories.”

Amarelinha is from the family of Rosehill Guineas (Gr. 1, 2000m) winner Metal Bender (Danasinga), a son of grand-dam Jacqwin (Bluebird). Metal Bender won nine races in Australia, and the title of top Australian 3YO in his year, while Jacqwin has left seven individual winners of 22 races. Her sire, Bluebird (Storm Bird), is a high quality influence in any pedigree and represented by only a select band of mares in New Zealand.

Amarelinha was strapped by Sam Bergerson.


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