Stakes' Crown for Campionessa

Date: 6 Nov 2022

Stakes' Crown for Campionessa


Stakes' placed mare Campionessa (5 m Contributer - Bella Carolina, by O'Reilly) recorded a valuable black type victory in the $100,000 Nautical Boat Insurance Metropolitan Trophy (Listed, 2500m) on Saturday at Riccarton.

After notching her fifth success in September, Campionessa continued good form with a close second in the North Canterbury Cup (2000m) on 1 October and was second again in the Spring Classic (Listed, 2000m) on 22 October, both at Riccarton. Although facing a tougher task: drawn wide (13) and stepping to 2500 metres, she accomplished the mission courtesy of a great ride by Josh Parr.

Commentator Matt Cross nailed it when saying it was a “10 out of 10 ride” by the visiting Australian jockey.



Eased to last with a lap to run, Parr was seen sneaking inside runs as the field fanned wide approaching the home turn and that ground saving measure, and a strong will to win, saw Campionessa prevail in a close three-way finish.

“I'm rapt to have won here in New Zealand,” Parr said. “I've been given a fantastic opportunity with Te Akau Racing and Mark Walker, so I'm thrilled to provide some payback with a victory. Hopefully that's not the last and I've got a long week ahead.

“It was a fantastic effort by her (Campionessa). I was in touch with Opie Bosson, which was great and he gave a good rundown on these horses.

“He said with this mare that she'll every need bit of my help to get the 2500m, so that's why I was very mindful not to be moving wide and when the runs kept appearing to the inside I just kept pinching each one of them.

“Even though I was pinching runs, I was still asking her to improve her spot. So I was using petrol even though I was saving ground and it was a strong and tough effort.”



On footing that upgraded to Good3 following race one, Campionessa ran 2500 metres in 2:37.1 and paid $4.10 & $2.00 on the NZ TAB tote.

“The ride won the race and full credit to him, he does his homework and good to have him here for the week,” said trainer Mark Walker, after his fifth stakes win this season.

“She's been a bit unlucky, actually, to have had so many seconds, so I really think she deserved that.

“I think there's more in store for her yet, too, and she can keep going on with it.

“She'll come back home, freshen-up, and maybe look at the Waikato Cup and the first time we try two-miles with her could be in the Auckland Cup.”

Terrifically consistent, Campionessa has recorded six wins, placed six times, and never finished further back than fifth in 17 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, who stand her sire.



“She was bred by Simms Davison at Mapperley Stud, great breeders for a very long time.

“We won the first race today at Te Rapa with a lovely two-year-old filly and now won the main staying race for the day at Riccarton, so it's very rewarding for everyone and especially Hunter Durrant and the great team of staff we have down here.”

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 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 already a noted sire of sires.

Dam, Bella Carolina, won three times to 1400 metres and sired five individual winners of 17 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.

Speaking on behalf of the owners, syndicate manager Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM said: “Te Akau has established a very proud tradition through David Ellis of being supportive, passionate, and involved in  South Island racing, especially during the Cup Carnival at Riccarton, and we have a around 20 horses stabled here in the lead-up.

“Campionessa can be cantankerous, but knows when it's race day and gave a kick beforehand to show she was on her game.

“Congratulations to the owners, thank you for all your support, and to the team at Mapperley Stud for breeding her.”

Campionessa was strapped by Katija Cherie.


Photo credit - & Canterbury Jockey Club


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