Maven Belle a Group 2 Beauty - 4 Win Saturday

Date: 26 Feb 2022

Maven Belle a Group 2 Beauty - 4 Win Saturday


Providing the seventh $110,000 J Swap Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) winner for Te Akau, Maven Belle (2 f Burgundy - Doyenne, by Kilimanjaro) showed she is the real deal on Saturday at Matamata.

Size, quality, class, presence, with temperament to match, and declared a ‘standout on type' beforehand in the birdcage by Paul Richards, who had stable-mate Hanalei (Darci Brahma) in race, Maven Belle extended her exemplary record to three starts, three wins.

She looked good beating subsequent Wellesley Stakes (Listed, 1100m) winner Hanalei when debuting in a Maiden 2YO 1000 metres on 3 January at Te Aroha, and produced a seamless victory under Opie Bosson in the Platinum Homes 2YO Classic (Gr. 3, 1200m) on Legends Day (12 Feb.) at Te Rapa.

The stage was set for a three-pronged attack, with I Choose You (I Am Invincible) joining the other two.

Covering extra ground and fifth to the 600m, Maven Belle ranged four wide on straightening, found another gear when rider Ryan Elliot asked her to extend and she cut a pretty picture when drawing clear to win easing down by two and a half lengths. It was an exceptional performance.

“She relaxed, came back to me, won easily and she's pretty good,” Elliot said.

On Dead4 footing, Maven Belle ran 1200 metres in 1:09.9, last 600m in 34.6, and drifted in betting from $3.30 & $1.30 fixed odds to pay $4.20 & $2.10 on NZ TAB tote. I Choose You finished third and Hanalei was fourth.

“Maven Belle was given a lovely ride by Ryan Elliot,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “She ended up in a nice spot, three back and one out, was able to get up on the outside of I Choose You on straightening, quickened well and won with a fair bit of authority.

“She really is going great, is unbeaten, and does look a filly with a lot of promise and one with a bright future in front of her.

“I'm thrilled for the owners and, obviously, she was bred at Te Akau Stud which is fantastic.”

Bred by, and raised at Te Akau Stud, Maven Belle is owned by the Te Akau Maven Belle Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis).

By five-time stakes' winner Burgundy (Redoute's Choice), from stakes' placed winner of six to 2000 metres, Doyenne (Kilimanjaro), Maven Belle is closely related to recent dual Group 1 winner Levante (Proisir).

“It's really exciting and such a big thrill to have a filly that we bred and raised at Te Akau go out and win such a prestigious race,” Ellis said.

“I take my hat off to all the team that looked after her from the day she was born, until now, and being by Burgundy adds to it all, and what a serious loss to the industry he's proving.

“She's a high-quality filly in her appearance and winning the race is huge in the scale of her future breeding career. The Matamata Breeders' Stakes is very well recognised in sales' catalogues as an important race for fillies to have won.

“It's a big team effort getting her to this stage. Everyone works so hard and racing is an industry where we have to work seven days a week. Even at the farm this morning, we had the team all busy there feeding the horses and looking after them. Its great dedication by everyone involved.

“The three fillies we had in the Breeders' Stakes are all stabled in our barn led by Nicole Shailer, and what an incredible effort for a 20-horse barn to have three horses in the race. It shows what a great job Nicole and her team is doing.

“This morning she told me she liked Maven Belle, which shows not only is she great at looking after the horses but she's also a good judge.”

Maven Belle was strapped by Rylee Sheehan.

Photo credit -


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