Te Akau Season - Stakes' Win 7 (NZ) of 30

Date: 7 Jul 2024

Te Akau Season - Stakes' Win 7 (NZ) of 30

July sees the final month of our phenomenal 2023/24 racing season.  

As we like to do at this time of the year, we now reflect every day on our Group/Listed performers of the 'season that was' - and there were plenty!  In fact 30 across New Zealand and Australia, with nine at Group 1 level.

In New Zealand, the focus after NZ Cup Week concluded moved back north - six years old Campionessa was a revelation this season winning at the elite level in New Zealand as well as claiming a precious Group 2 scalp (over two Melbourne Cup winners) in Australia!  

This has been HER season, the season she came of age, and her 'black type blitz' started at Pukekoke in late November ... 

Presented in tremendous order, Campionessa (6 m Contributer – Bella Carolina, by O’Reilly) returned to form stylishly in the $225,000 Dunstan Horse Feeds Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) on 25 November at Pukekohe.

In a race previously won twice by mighty mare Sunline, it was a performance that commenced a hat-trick of wins for Campionessa, concluding with Group One victory in the Zabeel Classic (Gr. 1, 2050m). 

Campionessa was impeccable last season, winning three times including the Rich Hill Mile (Gr. 2, 1600m) and Metropolitan Trophy (Listed, 2500m), while finishing second in both the Herbie Dyke Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m) and Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (Gr. 1, 2050m).

Ridden by Matt Cameron, Campionessa received an economical trip midfield inner, was on the bridle 600m out, and sustained a lengthy sprint near the rail to win well.

“Te Akau stable has been amazing for me. I rode 600 winners over a five/six year period when I was riding for them and they’re a great boost for everybody,” Cameron said.

For a mare that ended her previous campaign in March with a creditable sixth in the A$3 million Australian Cup (Gr. 1, 2000m), Campionessa was somewhat dismissed in betting to pay $15.40 & $3.10 on the NZ TAB tote, after running 1400 metres in 1:23.1, last 600m in 33.3, on footing upgraded to Good3.

Owned by the Te Akau Campionessa Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), she was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for A$60,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Yearling Sale, from the draft of Mapperley Stud, where her sire stands.

Her 33 starts have yielded 11 wins, 10 places, and over $1.25 million in prize money. 

“I bought Campionessa on the Gold Coast, pretty cheaply, after she was passed in by Simms Davison (Mapperley Stud), and brought her back here (NZ) to syndicate and race,” Ellis said.

“She showed her racing ability right from the start when she won her first two races and has just continued to get better as she’s matured.”

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), won six Group One races including the English and Irish Derbies. 

Her dam Bella Carolina won three times to 1400 metres and done a great job at stud leaving five individual winners of 26 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. 

Campionessa is in work at Matamata, and scheduled to trial on 6 August at Te Rapa. 


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