New Year's Day - Te Akau Grp 2 Rich Hill Mile Quinella

Date: 2 Jan 2023

New Year's Day - Te Akau Grp 2 Rich Hill Mile Quinella


Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson had them on a rein of cotton when recording his third stakes' win on the programme aboard Campionessa (5 m Contributer - Bella Carolina, by O'Reilly) in the $140,000 Rich Hill Mile (Gr. 2, 1600m) on 1 January at Te Rapa.

Having already saluted aboard two-year-old colt Trobriand (Kermadec) in the Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m), and three-time Group One winner and reigning Champion Three-Year-Old Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) in the Sistema Railway (Gr. 1, 1200m), Bosson, in typical fashion, kept throttling down.

Having ended a terrific southern campaign after winning the Metropolitan Trophy (Listed, 2500m) during Cup Week at Riccarton, Campionessa freshened nicely and trainer Mark Walker accredited Te Akau Racing Manager Reece Trumper with the decision of contesting the mile fresh-up.

“We were unsure and full credit to Reece Trumper, our Racing Manager,” Walker said. “He said, what about the Rich Hill Mile and I said it might be a bit rich, do you think? But, he said let's have a crack.

“She freshened up nicely after Riccarton, and looked a bit pretty, I thought, in the parade ring, but he's a very promising stallion (Contributer) I think, so we'll lift our sights a bit higher after today.

“Opie, he's in the zone on the big days and you wouldn't find anyone better.

“We've got an outstanding group of mainly young people, but there's me and Scott Lucock, we're the older heads keeping it all together. We've got a great team atmosphere.”

From 12thin running and standing the leader six lengths at the 600m, Bosson had Campionessa quickening clear inside the 250m and she powered away to win easing down by two and quarter lengths.

“I was mindful that she was dropping back from 2500 metres to a mile, but she began well and found quite a nice position,” Bosson said.

“She travelled beautifully throughout and turning for home I had a lap full of horse. Once I got the gap, she sprinted through. She gave me a great feel and feels a lot stronger this time in. She did it easily, so onwards and upwards.”

Tracking her throughout, stable-mate Belle En Rouge mounted a big finish for second.

“I thought it was very good,” Walker said. “She's coming back after not quite coming up in the Spring, and all those wet tracks we were running on hampered her as well.”

On footing that upgraded to Good3 later in the day, Campionessa ran 1600 metres in 1:34.7, last 600m in 34.1, and paid $5.00 & $2.20 on the NZ TAB tote after recording her second course/distance success.

Terrifically consistent, Campionessa has recorded seven wins, placed six times, and never finished further back than fifth in 18 starts.

Owned by Te Akau Campionessa Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), she was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $60,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale, from the draft of Mapperley Stud, which stands her sire.

“They were both fantastic runs,” said Ellis, referring to Campionessa and Belle En Rouge.

“I bought Campionessa on the Gold Coast, for good value, and she's kept developing into a wonderful mare, and we bred Belle En Rouge, who finished second in the Queen Elizabeth Cup today.  Belle En Rouge ended up tied first for New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year with her stable-mate Self Obsession, and of course won the Group 1 NZ Oaks last season(2400m).

“It's a brilliant training effort by Mark, getting Campionessa ready for a mile after winning over 2500 metres in November. He's world-class and it's great to have him back in the fold at Te Akau after he won five premierships for us here and then another four for us in Singapore.

“Karyn and I are very proud of the work all our team at the farm and stables do to look after the horses for our owners, and to win three races on a day is great, but to win get a treble of stakes' wins on a day is quite unbelievable.”

From the first NZ crop of Contributer (High Chaparral), Campionessa is out of the three-time winning mare Bella Carolina, by O'Reilly (Last Tycoon).

Australian Middle Distance Horse of the Year Contributer (High Chaparral) was a dual Group One winner in the Chipping Norton (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Ranvet Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m), and was Champion Second Season Sire in New Zealand.

His sire, High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells), winner of six Group One races including the English and Irish Derbies, has sired winners of 58 Group One races and is already a noted sire of sires.

Her dam, Bella Carolina, won three times to 1400 metres and has sired five individual winners of 18 races, including stakes' winners Tennessee (Per Incanto), who won the Wellesley Stakes (Listed, 1000m), and Leedox (Time Test) in the Futurity Stakes (Listed, 1400m).

In addition, the dam sires in the pedigree of Campionessa are some of the best to ever stand in New Zealand: Champion Sire O'Reilly, and in turn Centaine, and Noble Bijou. While through her sire lines she carries a cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer.

Campionessa was strapped by Katija Cherie.

Photo credit -


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