Riccarton Double - Caravella Cruises Home

Date: 7 Mar 2024

Riccarton Double - Caravella Cruises Home


Recording her third win this season, Caravella (4 m Caravaggio – Highland Lights, by Fantastic Light) won the $18,500 Martin Collins Rating 75 1200 metres on 7 March at Riccarton.

Caravella rounded out a hat-trick for the stable when winning over 1200 metres in November at Taupo, continued to race in good form before winning again over 1200 metres in January at Te Aroha, and bounced back after the jockey said her action felt indifferent in the Rating 75 1400 metres on 10 February at Te Rapa.

Having her first start for the Te Akau South Island stable, and given a lovely ride behind the pace by Kozzi Asano, who rode a double the day beforehand at Otaki, Caravella angled clear entering the straight at the 400m, quickened to a winning advantage and withstood the challenge by stable-mate Stella Splendida (Zoustar), who tracked her through from last. 

A neck separated the pair, with four lengths to third, running 1200 metres on Good4 footing in 1:09.1 and Caravella paid $4.80 & $2.30 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“It was a really good win at her first course attempt and shows that she can handle the chute on a relatively straight run,” said co-trainer Mark Walker. “There are a lot of good races coming up, for a mare like her, down the chute.

“It was a nice ride of Kozzi’s to have her settled behind the leaders and she’s been racing well in good fields throughout this campaign.

“She’s always shown ability, but kept improving as a mare and gives the impression she can work to a higher grade and rating.

“I think she could be even better when she’s more mature next season.

“The stable-mate Stella Splendida also went a good race. She was held up a little bit when looking to get clear, but it was really good to see her hit the line strongly.”

Owned by the Te Akau Night Skies Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis), Caravella was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $115,000 at the 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Wentwood Grange, who bred and owned the related former stable-mate Our Abbadean (Lookin at Lucky).

By Caravaggio (Scat Daddy), a fast racehorse, winning four times as a two-year-old, and Joint Champion 3YO Sprinter in Ireland, Caravella is a half-sister to Our Abbadean, a dual Group Two winner and twice Group One placed.

“She had been racing really well before the glitch last start at Te Rapa, but the win shows she has settled in well at our stables on the course at Riccarton,” Ellis said.

“Hunter (Durrant) and the team there are doing a great job and we have always loved stabling and racing horses in the South Island.

“We had her half-sister Our Abbadean in the stable for the Hawkins' family at Wentwood Grange, who performed very well. 

“She ran in all three legs of the Triple Crown during the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival, and came of age as an older mare when winning the Awapuni Gold Cup (Gr. 2, 2000m) and Travis Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m).

“She was really good stakes' quality mare and the more wins Caravella can get on the board the more valuable she becomes. 

“It’s a good family and Wentwood Grange is one of the very astute breeders in our industry.”

Caravella carries a Nijinsky cross through the sire-lines in her pedigree. 


Caravella was strapped by Kaydence Ferguson.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz

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