Hat-trick for Elegant Lady

Date: 21 Dec 2023

Hat-trick for Elegant Lady

Cementing a hat-trick, Elegant Lady (4 m Highly Recommended – Lady Masako, by Iffraaj) won the $25,000 Cochranes of Canterbury Rating 75 2200 metres on 20 December at Ashburton.

After capping a hat-trick of seconds with victory in the Rating 65 2000 metres on New Zealand Cup Day (18 Nov.), Elegant Lady won the Rating 75 2100 metres by three lengths on 8 December at Riccarton (poly track), and scored again in the same grade. 

Carrying virtually the same weight (56kg) with Lily Sutherland (a2) aboard, Elegant Lady received a smooth passage three back on the outer, ranged into contention on straightening and had things parcelled up inside the final 200m. 

On Good4 footing, Elegant Lady ran 2200 metres in 2:19.6, last 600m in 34.5 (approx.), and justified strong tote ($1.60) support.

“It was another really good win by a progressive mare and a lovely ride by Lily (Sutherland),” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“She’s a nice staying prospect and we have got the Dunedin Gold Cup in the back of our minds, and an opportunity to look for some black type.”

The $100,000 Dunedin Gold Cup (Listed, 2400m) is contested on Saturday 3 February at Wingatui. 

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 ran well on debut in a Maiden 2YO 1300 metres at Hastings, won by subsequent Castletown Stakes (Listed, 1200m) runner-up Honey Rider (Pins), but retired after two starts and 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).

“She’s a homebred filly that has strengthened and developed into a beautiful looking mare,” said Ellis, who spent the day inspecting yearlings at Haunui Farm, Westbury Stud, Jamieson Park and Hallmark Stud, ahead of Karaka 2024 (28 Jan. – 2 Feb.).

“She was pretty well placed by Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson) to win again in the same grade, and it’s as much about keeping their confidence high when aiming for a Cup race.

“She’s always been incredibly consistent and sometimes horses that obviously try as hard as she does just need that extra bit of maturity to start winning. 

“She had no trouble seeing out the 2200 metres today, has stamina in her dam line, and stepping up to a mile and a half (2400m) may suit her.  She’s a lovely mare, with a great attitude, and it's good to see her winning races in the south after I’d bought her mother at a South Island sale.

“Hunter Durrant and his team are doing a fantastic job looking after the horses in work at Riccarton, and they’ve got a strike rate better than three (2.9) this season which is quite incredible.” 

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).

The family of second top Two-Year-Old Lady Bay (Kingdom Bay), dam of Grosvenor Championship Stakes (Gr. 2, 2100m) winner Let’s Cruise (Zabeel), who also finished fourth in both the Doomben Roses (Listed, 2020m) and Queensland Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) with Opie Bosson aboard.

“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 - www.raceimages.co.nz


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