Elegant Is, As Elegant Wins

Date: 18 Feb 2023

Elegant Is, As Elegant Wins


Back in class, Elegant Lady (3 f Highly Recommended - Lady Masako, by Iffraaj) won the $14,000 Return to Earth Maiden 1900 metres on 17 February at New Plymouth.

After hitting line strongly for sixth when debuting over 1400 metres in December at Matamata, Elegant Lady then produced two seconds before a notable effort from last to finish fifth in the Oaks Prelude (Listed, 1800m) on 4 February at New Plymouth, and started hot favourite ($1.70 & $1.10) returning to Maiden grade.

Ridden by reigning Champion Jockey and current premiership leading rider Michael McNab, Elegant Lady travelled sweetly in fifth before being stoked up nearing the home turn and had the wood on her rivals inside the final furlong.

On Soft5 footing, she ran the 1900 metres in 1:59.7, last 600m in 37.2, scoring by one and a half lengths. 

“It was a good staying effort and I think she will improve with more time, as well,” said trainer Mark Walker.

Walker said Elegant Lady would prepare for the $100,000 Sunline Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m) on Derby Day (4 March) at Te Rapa. 

Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM bought her dam Lady Masako for $23,000 as a yearling at the 2015 South Island Sale. 

Lady Masako was not disgraced on debut in a Maiden 2YO 1300 metres at Hastings, in a good form race won by subsequent Castletown Stakes (Listed, 1200m) runner-up Honey Rider (Pins), but she 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).

By Fastnet Rock (Danehill) stallion Highly Recommended, sire of recent Eulogy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m) and Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) winner Polygon, 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 said.

“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.”

Updating events on the farm at Te Akau, Ellis said: “We're selling shares in the yearlings from Karaka, and I'm just taking our assistant trainer Sam Bergerson around the farm, looking at them all, and identifying which might make early two-year-olds for next season.

“They're a beautiful group of horses, high quality and they're doing really well on lush grass.”

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 Zoe Ashworth.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


Sign up to our newsletter