Taupo Double - Romance is in the Air

Date: 16 Sep 2023

Taupo Double - Romance is in the Air


Group One winner Romancing The Moon (4 m El Roca – Underthemoonlight, by El Hermano) led home a Te Akau trifecta when scoring fresh-up in the $18,500 Rating 75 1100 metres on 15 September at Taupo.


Having finished strongly for second when trialling on 23 August at Taupo, she rated a top three chance despite drawing the outside gate (8).

Last season, against a three-year-old crop for the ages, Romancing The Moon was one of the hardiest in commission: runner-up in both the The O’Learys Fillies Stakes (Listed, 1200m) and Soliloquy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m), and fourth in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), she kept showing improvement after racing clear to win the NZB Insurance Stakes (Listed, 1400m), and ended her terrific campaign with victory over stable-mate and subsequent Group One winner Skew Wiff (Savabeel) in the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m).

In the race sponsored by Hole In One Jolly’s, Romancing The Moon ran 1100 metres in 1:06.9 on Good4 footing and paid $2.50 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Ridden by Te Akau apprentice Jess Allen (3), reducing the impost to 58.5kg, Romancing The Moon was full of gusto to work across and lead, had her rivals in trouble when travelling best topping the rise 400m out and was never really threatened to score by one and a half lengths.

Out of the pack with a wet sail to finish second, Cognito (So You Think), a debut course winner last season, who was stakes' placed prior to winning the Wellington Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m), signalled his intentions for the campaign ahead, while grey mare Grace ‘N’ Grey (Spirit of Boom) did similar with a strong finish near the rail for third.

“It was good to see her resume with such a bold win,” said co-trainer Mark Walker. 

“She proved up to the best last season, was rewarded with a Group One victory, and it was a good ride of Jess’s. She increased the pace a long way from home, but the mare was up to the task and did it well.

“She will contest black type races and has the ability to win more good races.”

Owned by Te Akau Moonstruck Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Romancing The Moon was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM for $50,000 at the 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft Westbury Stud.

“She was one of the real success stories last season and it’s great to see her resume with another win,” Ellis said.

“She’s as tough as teak, loves the heat of battle, and has all the attributes of a good filly and mare. You can always guarantee she’ll try her heart out and that’s such a big help.

“That’s the 28th win for Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson) already this season, plus the mighty win by Imperatriz last Saturday at Moonee Valley, so it shows that everyone and everything is working well.”

Romancing The Moon was strapped by Loka Manu. 


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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