New Zealand mare Zurella produced a strong finish in her first race on Australian soil today to claim victory in the Group 2 2012 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
The daughter of Zabeel was ridden midfield with cover for the majority of the race before experienced jockey Craig Newitt found a run with 200 metres to go.
From there the four-year-old showed why she is a dual stakes winner in New Zealand as she powered home to take top honours ahead of Hi Belle and Total Attraction.
Trainer Shaun Ritchie was elated with the performance and said the 2012 Caulfield Cup was the major goal this spring.
“She was always going to develop into a lovely four-year-old and she’s right on track,”
“We’re trying to get her into the Caulfield Cup. If she comes through this well she’ll go to the Naturalism and we’ll try to get her qualified that way.”
The Naturalism Stakes, to be held at Caulfield on September 22, is shaping up to be an exciting race with a huge number of Caulfield Cup hopefuls to be entered.
Jockey Newitt was riding the lightly-raced mare for the first time and said Group 1 racing was definitely within her grasp this spring.
“She’s a big strong mare, she blows away into the open,” Newitt said.
“He [Ritchie] thought she’d run a good race today but he said he’s left a lot in the tank. She’s very exciting.”
Heavily-backed favourite Lady Melksham never really looked comfortable after jumping from a wide barrier and eventually finished in fifth position.
There are plenty of horses to follow so to back them or anything else in Melbourne this spring visit bookmaker.com.au.
The Aussie-owned bookie has great value odds on all the nation’s top racing and currently offers a $400 bonus bet offer to new customers.
Let’s Elope Stakes 2012 – Results
|1||8||ZURELLA (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Craig Newitt||–||4||55kg||$10|
|2||3||HI BELLE||John Gunning||Craig Williams||0.75L||3||56.5kg||$8.50|
|3||10||TOTAL ATTRACTION||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.95L||2||54kg||$7|
|4||11||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Walker||2.2L||8||54kg||$26|
|5||4||LADY MELKSHAM||John Sadler||Glen Boss||2.3L||12||56.5kg||$2.90F|
|6||1||YOSEI||Stuart Webb||Ms Michelle Payne||3.3L||5||58.5kg||$20|
|7||2||MISS ARTISTIC (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Damien Oliver||3.5L||9||57.5kg||$26|
|8||12||TWILIGHTING||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Michael Rodd||3.8L||7||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$21|
|9||7||BOOKLET||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Dwayne Dunn||4.55L||6||55kg||$14|
|10||6||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||James Winks||5.3L||1||55.5kg||$31|
|11||9||BIANCON ROSE||David Brideoake & David Feek||Chris Symons||9.8L||11||54kg||$11|
|12||5||KNEELING||John P Thompson||Aaron Spiteri||12.8L||10||55.5kg||$26|