Star of Bombay Shines at Ellerslie

Date: 1 Mar 2020

Star of Bombay Shines at Ellerslie

Stakes' placed at her fourth start, Star Of Bombay (3 f Atlante - Astardia, by Starcraft) went one better with a clinical victory in the $60,000 Mufhasa Fasttrack Stakes (Listed, 1300m) on Derby Day (Feb. 29) at Ellerslie.

Following consecutive impressive wins with third in the Auckland Guineas (Gr. 2, 1600m) on 1 January at Ellerslie, trainer Jamie Richards elected to back off the classy filly with the Mufhasa Stakes in mind and in panned out to a nicety. In the interim, Star of Bombay had rounded off ominously for fourth when trialling on 11 February at Te Teko.

Given a great trip and ride by Ryan Elliot, Star Of Bombay was poised approaching the home turn, popped out on straightening before sprinting to lead a furlong out and smart late in beating a field led out by 10-time Group One winner Mufhasa.

“I was lucky to get the ride and she's a filly that has always put her best foot forward,” Elliot said. “Every chance I get to put on the (tangerine) colours I've given one-hundred and ten percent and always try and make those chances count. 

“She's still learning the racing game, but a really nice filly with a beautiful sprint on her.”

Star of Bombay brought tremendous form to the race and a touch luxurious in returning $6.50 & $1.90 on the NZ TAB tote, after running the 1300 metres in 1:16.3, last 600m in 34.0, on Good3 footing. 

“It was a lovely ride by Ryan (Elliot) and she's a quality filly that we've always liked,” said racing manager Libby Richards. “We all really like her at home and it's been a big team effort to get her here. She's a filly that Dave (Ellis) bought from the Ready to Run Sale and a great team of owners in her.” 

Owned by the Te Akau Bombay Star Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Star Of Bombay was bought by David Ellis for $50,000 at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.

“That's the effort of a filly that's going places,” Ellis said. “She had a slight foot issue through the week, missed a gallop, so to do what she did was a very good effort. 

“It's the 15thblack type win Jamie's had already this season. She hadn't raced for awhile and it's not easy to get these horses to peak with eight weeks between races and perform like that. Jamie has done a fantastic job with her.

“She's got some really good owners, including John Elstob who is one of our biggest owners. He and his partner, Denise, have got all their family involved in this filly, which adds to the excitement for us. John and Denise have invested in a lot of the yearlings I bought at the sales this year and it's great for them. 

Presenting the silver plate to syndicate manager Karyn Fenton-Ellis (MNZM), race sponsor David Archer said: “Congratulations for winning with a gorgeous filly, bought, managed, and trained by the best.”

“On behalf of the ownership team thank you to David Archer (Fasttrack Insurance) and the Auckland Racing Club, and it means a lot to win a race during Auckland Cup Week,” Karyn said. 

“She has become a very valuable filly and there is a story behind her. There was an unfortunate track accident just before this filly was purchased by David at the Ready to Run Sale, where we lost a filly named Live Wire (Power), and the ownership group including John & Denise, Cathie and Glenn (Holmes), and some other owners bought the majority share in the filly in honour of ‘Ruby'. So, it is a win tinged with plenty of emotion. 

“Also, our lovely strapper, Kate Belsham, has her grandparents involved because she said they had to be. 

“Star of Bombay had been nursing a bit of a foot issue, so it shows what an incredible trainer Jamie Richards is. He will be a Hall of Fame Trainer, I have no doubt, and he's a remarkable young man.”

Commenting from Sydney, where he was preparing stable-mates Probabeel (Savabeel) and Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle) for Group One assignments at Randwick, trainer Jamie Richards said: “It was a great win and a lovely ride. The best ride in the race won the race. Fortunately we drew a nice barrier (4) and able to track the speed in the trail she capitalized on a perfect run.

“She's always shown that she's above average. She trialled well, had good form around Dragon Leap (Pierro) and Riodini (Proisir), and came on for her recent trial at Te Teko. 

“We hadn't had the best of weeks with her when feeling her foot, but the team at home have done a great job. Kate (Belsham) and Tracy (Collis) at the main stable, and I'm stoked it's all come together. 

“She's a filly we didn't pay a lot of money for and all going well she could press on towards the Wellington Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m) on Oaks Day (14 March) at Trentham, where she should be a really good chance.”

Star of Bombay was strapped by Kate Belsham.

Note: shortly after this result, Jamie Richards took his Group tally to 17, winning back to back Group 1 races in Sydney.

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