Taupo Double - Stella Splendid Indeed

Date: 30 Dec 2023

Taupo Double - Stella Splendid Indeed

Te Akau trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson had a strong hand in the $18,500 Rating 75 1200 metres on 30 December at Taupo, winning with Stella Splendida (4 m Zoustar – Scintillula, by Galileo).

After dominantly returning to winning form in the corresponding event on 7 December at New Plymouth, Stella Splendida, an impressive course/distance winner on debut, was a short-priced favourite in the hands of stable rider Opie Bosson. 

Away well to position handily, Stella Splendida was on and off the accelerator when jostling occurred up front, but finally got balanced in the straight to score narrowly over Kakadu (El Roca), with Te Akau stable-mates Sophisticardo (Burgundy) finishing third, Polly Plum (Xtravagant) fourth, and Fellini (Belardo) fifth. 

It was the 60th win for Bosson at Taupo, who recently recorded his 2000th domestic win aboard exciting Te Akau colt Move To Strike (I Am Invincible) on Waikato Cup Day (16 Dec.) at Te Rapa.

In the race sponsored by honey producers Cosana NZ – Charge of the Light Brigade, Stella Spendida ran 1200 metres in 1:14.3 on Slow7 footing and paid $1.80 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It was a good, tough, win and I don’t think the track was really to her liking, but she dug deep to get up and win by a nose,” Walker said.

“We’ve got her confidence back, which is really good, and where her rating is currently we may even look to the South Island for a suitable black type race.

“It was another gun ride from Opie and he just never seems to get beaten in a tight finish.”

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, and now won four of her eight starts.

“It was an awkwardly run race, but it was good to see her get there and she’s now won four of her eight starts,” Ellis said.

“I think the slow ground was a touch beyond her too, so it was a good effort given the conditions.

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

“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 a progressive winning filly 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.

“I think she’s got more ahead of her and Mark and Sam are doing a good job of placing as she works through the grades.” 

Stella Splendida is a high-class mare with a unique presence of athleticism and power, and from a European and international family of Group performers. 

Ellis is preparing for the upcoming yearling sales, with Magic Millions (8 Jan. – 16 Jan.) on the Gold Coast, followed by Karaka 2024 (28 Jan. – 2 Feb.) in Auckland. 

“We’ve got a big month ahead at the sales, which I’m really looking forward to, and following our inspections I’ve been going through the pedigrees with Marcus Corban,” Ellis said.

“Again, we’ve seen some lovely yearlings, some of which we will be trying to buy at auction, and we’ll be heading to the Gold Coast to start work next week.”

Stella Splendida was strapped by Te Akau apprentice Jess Allen. 

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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