Stella Splendida - Splendid Indeed

Date: 16 Sep 2022

Stella Splendida - Splendid Indeed


Taking everything in her stride, Stella Splendida (3 f Zoustar - Scintillula, by Galileo) displayed untapped potential when winning impressively in the $14,000 Maiden 3YO 1200 metres on 16 September at Taupo.

Having won three of four trials, including her first as a two-year-old at Taupo, Stella Splendida was a hot commodity ($1.30) for her debut outing and did nothing to disappoint.

Caught out in the initial jostling for positions, Stella Splendida tracked up three wide inside the 600m, ranged nicely rounding the home turn, and after quickening to lead at the 200m she got away to win easing down with her ears pricked.

“Wow, she's fast,” said rider Opie Bosson, on dismounting. “She had a bit of a look around and needs to drop the bridle, but that's newness and she's just class.”

Owned by Te Akau 2021 Karaka Filly Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Stella Splendida was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM for $800,000 at the 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Pencarrow Stud.

“She's a beautiful filly that we bought from Sir Peter Vela at Pencarrow, and although she was just out there for education, it was certainly pleasing to see her win so well,” Ellis said.

“We considered her the best filly in the sale that year and, rightfully, she topped the sale.

“Opie has ridden plenty of good ones; he was pretty chuffed and we took her Taupo because it's such a good surface.

“For Opie to ride at 56-kilos this early in the season is reward for the hard work he's putting in to get his weight down and he's very fit.

“She's owned by really good clients of Te Akau Racing. One of the owners, Ben Kwok, is very loyal and supportive of Te Akau, and also the most successful owner in the world, John Magnier, who founded Coolmore Stud, has a sizeable share.

“We've trained horses for Coolmore, but she's the first horse we've had in work for him personally and it's very exciting to have trained a winner that he's involved in.

“John got in touch with me to say that he'd been impressed with the horses that we'd been buying at Te Akau and he'd like to be involved in a nice filly.

“We'll probably aim her towards the Soliloquy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) on 22 October at Te Rapa, and then the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), and try turning her into another New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.

“A lot of our good horses over the years, like Burgundy, have started off at Taupo, and hopefully Stella Splendida goes on with the success.”

On a lovely day at Taupo, Stella Splendida ran 1200 metres in 1:14.7, last 600m in 35.7, on Soft5 footing.

Quite magnificent as a type and showing an enormous amount of natural ability, Stella Splendida is from a European and international family of Group performers and has a pedigree seldom seen in this part of the world.

“She's a big scopey filly that we've got a lot of time for and it was a really promising win,” said leading trainer Mark Walker.

“It was a muddling run race and she'll only improve for the experience. She'd certainly prefer a more genuinely run race and she'll get her chance in some of the better races for the three-year-old fillies.”

Stella Splendida is stabled in the barn managed by stable foreman Nicole Shailer, who won Stablehand of the Year at the recent NZTR Horse of the Year Awards.

“It's quite incredible the horses she's had under her wing,” Ellis said. “Avantage, Melody Belle, and Probabeel, and horses don't get looked after any better in the world than they do with Nicole.”

Stella Splendida was strapped by Stephanie Hyde-Richards who also was responsible for the breaking in and early education of the filly - a great sense of pride for her today.


Photo credit -


Sign up to our newsletter