Fearless Fellini Flies Home

Date: 20 Dec 2021

Fearless Fellini Flies Home


As expected, $1.80 favourite Fellini  (2 g Belardo - Silke Top, by Librettist) won $15,000 Maiden 2YO 1000 metres on 20 December at Pukekohe.


The first two-year-old presented this season by trainer Jamie Richards, he finished a brave third off a wide run in a 2YO 1000 metres on 23 October at Matamata in a race won by subsequent stakes' placed Mascarinto (Per Incanto).  Fellini had since sustained a strong run to win at the trials on 29 November at Matamata, and benefitted from barrier one.

Rider Opie Bosson soon had Fellini in front, with debutante stable-mate and second favourite ($3.80) Bellano (Savabeel) alongside. It was clear 300m out that Fellini had matters in hand, while Val Di Zoldo (War Decree) capitalized on the trail to edge out Bellano for second.

There was little cause for alarm by owners in Te Akau Fine Fashion Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM) and the horse, purchased by David Ellis CNZM for just $40,000 from draft of Valachi Downs at 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, appears a promising type.

On footing upgraded beforehand to Dead6, Fellini ran the 1000 metres in 1:00.1, easing down to score by one and three-quarter lengths in a race sponsored by the Tuakau Cossie Racing Section.

Te Akau is knowledgeable about progeny of young Haunui Farm stallion Belardo (Lope de Vega) after providing his first NZ success when Avonallo won Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) on New Zealand Cup Day last year at Riccarton. Avonallo subsequently finished third in the Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m), won by stable-mate On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau) - providing the fifth consecutive victory in the 2YO Million for Te Akau.

Jamie Richards said of Fellini: “I thought he ran well on debut and we just wanted to give him a bit of time in the paddock and let him strengthen before preparing him again.

“He came back in, trialled well at Matamata, and obviously the strength of the trial was vindicated with (stable-mate) Taviarma (Tavistock) finishing second to Wolverine (Tivaci) in Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) at Te Rapa.

“He drew well (1) and Opie rode him beautifully. He went forward, controlled the tempo of the race and it was all pretty pain free.

“I'm happy with him and he's starting to hit his straps at the right time. We won't have to do too much with him now and he'll go to Ellerslie on the ninth (January). We like to use that race day as a lead-up to the Karaka Million.

“He'll have a few days at the water walker now but he's qualified for the Karaka Million and we'll give him a look around Ellerslie beforehand.

“He's in good shape: a mature type of horse and a natural two-year-old. We'll make sure he gets home and does everything well and we look forward to preparing him for the Karaka Million.

“It was a good effort by everyone at the Colt Barn and they've done a good job with him.”

Richards ended his previous record-breaking season (164 wins, 40 stakes wins, including 15 Group 1 (NZ & Aust.)) having prepared 21 two-year-old race winners, strike rate 2.3, and currently nine have raced for three wins and six placed.

From talented international family, Ellis was able to buy Fellini for $40,000 from breeders Valachi Downs, who coincidentally bred, own, and train second placed Val Di Zoldo. A year earlier at Karaka, his half-brother Chancellor (Vadamos - Silke Top) sold for $185,000.

Grand-dam Zaza Top (Lomitas) was Second Top filly in the German 2YO Handicaps and is doing a great job at stud, having already left Champion 3YO in Germany Zazou (Shamardal) and Zoe Dream (Galileo), winner of seven from 2300m to 4050m in France. She has also left Group 2 placed Za Za Gabor (O'Reilly) in New Zealand, a half-sister to Silke Top.

“He was one of the value buys of the sale for us,” said Ellis, in January at Karaka. “He's got a really nice international pedigree and is by a sire that we've already experienced success with.

“Like Avonallo, we expected he had the precocity to race as a two-year-old. The sire is doing a really good job as a young stallion and has produced some lovely strong and athletic types.

“He's from a nice young mare, a good mover, and as mentioned: he was very good value.”

Fellini carries Danzig bloodline cross, on dam line of Belardo, as sire of dam sire Danehill, and sire of dam sire Librettist.

Fellini was strapped by Sarah West.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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