The Scent of Victory

Date: 9 Aug 2023

The Scent of Victory


Te Akau homebred filly French Rose (3 f Burgundy – Paraiba, by Faltaat) broke through on the middle day of Grand National week at Riccarton, winning the $20,000 Betavet Maiden 1200 metres on Wednesday 9 August.


Having run the fastest last 600m (33.2) for third in the Maiden 1000 metres on 7 July, and chased the leading division when finishing a close fourth in the Maiden 1200 metres on 27 July, both at Awapuni (poly-track), French Rose rated a top three chance from the handy barrier two.

Given a lovely ride by Lisa Allpress, who returned to the saddle in late July following hip surgery and claimed her first win last Sunday at Hawera, French Rose was pushed up to utilise the draw, secured a lovely position with cover, and she quickened appreciably in the straight to score by one and a quarter lengths.



On the poly-track, French Rose ran 1200 metres in 1:10.8 and, following the late scratching of well supported Luvnwar (War Decree), returned $3.00 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote. 

French Rose was one of two on programme for the newly formed training partnership of Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, who were successful at the first race day of the season (2 August) when Cote de Beaune (Burgundy) scored at Cambridge (poly-track).

“It was a really good ride by Lisa Allpress and resulted in a nice win,” Walker said. “She travelled down well, settled in, and got all favours in the running.  She's up in grade now, but she’s a filly that certainly tries very hard, gives it 100% each time, and that should stand by her to win more races.”

Bred by Te Akau Principal David Ellis CNZM and owned by the Te Akau Rose of France Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), French Rose had built nicely to win at her sixth start and, the full sister to former stable-mate and stakes' placed winner of eight Burgundy Rose, she appears the type to keep improving. 

French Rose joins a growing list of successful homebred fillies by Burgundy (Redoute’s Choice), whom Ellis purchased as yearling at Karaka, and he obliged with five stakes' wins before becoming a successful sire and unfortunately passed in 2019.

Maven Belle and Belle En Rouge, both homebred fillies by Burgundy, made for a memorable 2022. Maven Belle (ex. Doyenne, by Kilimanjaro) included the Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) and Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) on her way to becoming Champion Two-Year-Old, while Belle En Rouge (ex. Cavendish Belle, by Thorn Park) won the New Zealand Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) and Eight Carat Classic (Gr. 2, 1600m) on her way to tying stable-mate Self Obsession (Shocking) for New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year honours.

“The cross with Burgundy with the mare (Paraiba) has worked particularly well to produce Burgundy Rose, who was a fast and talented racehorse, and now French Rose looks promising too,” Ellis said.



“Burgundy was a huge loss to the New Zealand breeding industry, after only serving a handful of crops, and given the success of his progeny he would stand at quite a high fee now,” Ellis said.

“He was probably the fastest horse we’ve ever trained a Te Akau, a great athlete and he’s passed that on to his progeny.  He’s a really good sire and it’s very sad that we haven’t still got him. He’s shown to leave quality horses, like himself, and is very versatile with two-year-old winners, and two Fillies of the Year, right through to a New Zealand Cup winner.”

French Rose was strapped by Brandon May. 


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