Te Akau Treble - Campionessa Group 2 Success Again

Date: 17 Dec 2023

Te Akau Treble - Campionessa Group 2 Success Again

Outstanding last time out, Campionessa (6 m Contributer – Bella Carolina, by O’Reilly) was again poetry in motion winning the $175,000 Cal Isuzu Stakes (Gr. 2, 1600m) on Waikato Cup Day (16 Dec.) at Te Rapa. 

Presented in tremendous order when resuming with a big effort to win the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) on 25 November at Pukekohe, Campionessa boasted good course/distance stats, winning the Rich Hill Mile (Gr. 2, 1600m) and finishing second in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m), and has developed into a dead-set quality mare and was the worthy race favourite. 

Appearing hard to beat from the outset, Campionessa began well to secure a prime position behind the leaders, was clear to pounce at will in the straight, and proved a class above when racing away to win by two lengths. 

The victory provided the 2001st domestic win for stable rider Opie Bosson ONZM, who earlier on the card brought about the milestone 2000 aboard stable-mate Move To Strike (I Am Invincible), an exciting two-year-old colt.

“We jumped straight into a good spot, she travelled beautifully throughout and Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson) and the team have done a good job with her,” Bosson said.

“She lost her mojo there for a bit, but that win the other day gave her a lot of confidence. Even in her track work she’s been stepping up and really wanting to do it and today she showed again just how good she is.”

On Good4 footing, Campionessa ran 1600 metres in 1:36.4, last 600m in 34.0 (approx.), and paid $2.50 & $1.20 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“She came back after that short freshen-up in fantastic form, Opie came and rode her on Tuesday and gave her a tick of approval,” said co-trainer Sam Bergerson.

“She’s back in the groove and was aided by a fantastic ride. She got into a lovely spot, relaxed beautifully, was presented at the right time and was really strong through the line.

“All systems are now go for Boxing Day, if she comes through the run well she can press on towards that and we think the step up to 2000 metres really suits.

“She’s a really good doing mare, takes everything in her stride, and loves her work.”

The $450,000 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (Gr. 1, 2050m) is contested on Boxing Day at Pukekohe. 

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

Her 26 starts have yielded nine wins, five seconds, three thirds, and $680,000 in prize money. 

On the dais to represent the owners, Ellis said: “We’d like to congratulate Waikato Thoroughbred Racing for putting on such a great day's racing. 

“The track, the facilities, it’s an absolute credit to everyone that is involved in this great club.

“Cal Isuzu has been sponsoring this race for over 20 years and congratulations on the support you give this club.

“I’d also like to congratulate Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson for the fantastic job they’ve done training this mare and to win this race is a terrific thrill for all the owners, and the team at Te Akau Racing that have worked so hard through the spring and early summer to get the results that we’re having today.

“To the legend, Opie Bosson, what a thrill to see him ride his 2000th winner today, and congratulations to all the owners that support Te Akau and are here today they’re the true champions of this industry.”

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

“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), winner of six Group One races including the English and Irish Derbies, has sired winners of 58 Group One races and already a noted sire of sires. 

Dam, Bella Carolina, won three times to 1400 metres and sired five individual winners of 18 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 was strapped by Murala Mallesh. 

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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