Ellerslie Treble - Win No.1 Star of Bombay

Date: 28 Nov 2020

Ellerslie Treble - Win No.1 Star of Bombay

Stakes' quality mare Star of Bombay (4 m Atlante - Astardia, by Starcraft) reignited at her favourite course with a smart victory in the Bentleys Chartered Accountants $37,500 Open 1400 metres on Saturday at Ellerslie.

She recorded her second win on the course, winning the Mufhasa Fasttrack Stakes (Listed, 1300m) on Derby Day (Feb. 29), and while the two prior runs this season for third and fourth, respectively, looked okay in the form line they could be judged a touch below her previous performances.

But, with the addition of blinkers and reuniting with jockey Craig Grylls, extending their record to three wins and a third from four starts, Star of Bombay returned to her best.

Ridden assertively to take a handy position and finding herself second at the 800m, Star of Bombay quickened to lead early in the home straight, pinched a two-length advantage, and pinned her ears back to prove too strong. 

On Dead4 footing, she ran the 1400 metres in 1:23.1, last 600m 35.0, winning by one and a quarter lengths, and returning $3.20 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote as race favourite. 

“It was a hearty ride by Craig (Grylls),” said leading trainer Jamie Richards. “He put her right in the race and it was a bloody good win.

“We'd been struggling with her to find her best form, but blinkers on and she loves Ellerslie. Her work had been good, a little bit of time (28 days) between runs, and we may keep her fresh and come back on Boxing Day for the Hallmark.”

The race Richards alluded to is the $60,000 Hallmark Stud Handicap (Listed, 1200m), a traditional lead-up race to the Railway (Gr. 1, 1200m) on 1 January at Ellerslie. 

Having commenced her racing career with a second in November last year, Star of Bombay came clear to win easing down by four lengths at her second start, on 24 November at Te Rapa, and now won four of her nine starts. 

Owned by the Te Akau Bombay Star Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Star of Bombay was bought by David Ellis CNZM for $50,000 at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.

“I've always thought she was filly that's going places,” Ellis said. “She has some of our very best in her and has become a really valuable filly. 

“I bought her two years ago at the Ready to Run Sale and we've been kept busy selling the horses we bought at the Ready to Run Sale 10 days ago. They've all sold now, so it's been a successful exercise, and looking at the horses we bought in the paddocks this morning at the farm I think you'll see some very good horses come out of it. There are some rippers among them. 

“Our vet, Douglas Black, had a big part in us buying Star of Bombay at the sales. He told me that she was one of the nicest fillies he'd seen for awhile, so we went and had another look at her and ended up buying her at a competitive price. 

“Craig (Grylls) gets on with her really well and his record in the tangerine is nothing short of remarkable. We can't get him very often, but when he does ride for us he's hard to beat and I've had a long association with his family because his father, Gary (Grylls), rode my first Group One winner, Cosmetique, in 1986 at Ellerslie.”

By ill-fated 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Atlante (Fastnet Rock), Second Top Colt on the NZ 3YO Free Handicap, Star of Bombay is the first foal of a Starcraft (Soviet Star) mare that won over 1600 metres. Through her sire lines, she carries a simple cross to immortal stallion Northern Dancer. 

Star of Bombay was strapped by Te Akau racing manager Libby Richards.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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