Quintessa Primed for Australian Guineas

Date: 29 Feb 2024

Quintessa Primed for Australian Guineas

Raceform's Richard Edmunds reports:

Quintessa will attempt to become the second successive New Zealand-trained filly to win the Australian Guineas.

Superstar Legarto made history 12 months ago as the first New Zealand-trained winner of the Gr. 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington, and on Saturday another filly from Matamata will attempt to follow in her footsteps.

Te Akau Racing’s Quintessa goes into the A$1 million feature with four wins and two placings to her name from a seven-start career. The Shamus Award filly won the Gr. 3 Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings in September, then returned from a spring freshen-up with a pair of second placings behind Pendragon.

The step up to 1600 metres for the Gr. 1 Levin Classic at Trentham in January brought the very best out of Quintessa, who surged out of midfield and prevailed in a blanket finish where only three-quarters of a length covered the first six placegetters.

Quintessa’s only appearance since then came against older horses in the Gr. 1 BCD Group Sprint at Te Rapa on February 10. Stepping down to 1400 metres, she charged home from third-last to finish a close fourth.

“It was a big run at Te Rapa against older horses and over a trip that was a little bit short of her best,” said Te Akau’s head trainer Mark Walker, who has won Group features in Melbourne on each of the last two Saturdays with Group One mares Imperatriz and Campionessa.

“It’s hard to line up the form between New Zealand and Australia, but we’re hoping this filly can get a bit of luck in the running and put her best foot forward. She was right at home over the 1600 metres at Trentham, so we think the same distance at a track as big and roomy as Flemington should suit her nicely as well.

“We’ve been very happy with her build-up for this race, she handled the travel beautifully.”

Quintessa has already earned more than $460,000, having been bought by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $170,000 at Karaka two years ago.


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