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Full Field to Contest Country's Richest F&M Race

Full Field to Contest Country's Richest F&M Race

A full field of sixteen will contest New Zealand's richest race for fillies and mares, the $220,000 Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders' Stakes (1600m), at Te Aroha on Saturday.

Imananabaa (Anabaa x Iman by Zemindar) is one of two Group 1 winners in the race, having won the Group 1 Waiwera Mineral Water Railway Handicap (1200m) on New Year's Day. The sensitive four-year-old has won on five occasions and placed on eight. With the retirement of her former trainer Jim Gibbs, she now races from the Don Sellwood stable and will be ridden by Opie Bosson on Saturday from barrier 15.

Stephen McKee's Ardmore stable accounts for five hopes in the race to make up almost a third of the field, including the Group 1 winning three-year-old  Keepa Cruisin (Keeper x Just Cruising by Broad Reach). Bred and raced by The Oaks Stud principal Dick Karreman, the half-sister to Seachange is already a Group 1 winner over a mile and ran on well for second in her last start on 22 March at Tauranga.

The McKee, Richard Moore and Samantha Spratt combination that took out last year's event with Captivate reunite this year with hopes for Culminate (Elnadim x Solstice by Marceau). Both mares were bred, and are raced, by Soliloquy principal Moore with the Stud also sponsoring current apprentice premiership leader, Spratt.

Five time winner Pams Pompallier (Volksraad x Kaapentyne by Kaapstad), Listed winner Ististar (Istidaad x Marlanda Star by Star Way) and Sardonyx (Ebony Grosve x Go Minstrel by Kreisler) complete the McKee-trained quintet.

Starting from a wide draw is the ultra-consistent  Irlanda (O'Reilly x Cenphic by Centaine) who ran second here last year behind Captivate. Trained at Matamata by Lance Noble, the multiple stakes-winner will be ridden by Michael Coleman.

Noble is also represented by the Group 3 WRC Cuddle Stakes winner Kirra Sand (O'Reilly x Plentiful by Kinjite) who will be shooting for her seventh career win.

Vercors (Catbird x Alpine by Zabeel) is a Listed race winner over a mile, and a half-sister to the talented Pins filly Huluava. The Mark Walker trained five-year-old will be ridden by Michael Walker from barrier five and comes off the back of a last start second to fellow Breeders Stakes runner, Sent to Sea (Crested Wave x Address by Karioi Lad).

The stakes-placed six-year-old Sent to Sea, trained by Karyn McQuade, has drawn barrier 13 and will be ridden by Cameron Lammas in what will be her 31st race-day start.

Fresh from recent Group 1 juvenile success with Il Quello Veloce in the Ford Manawatu Sires Produce,  John Sargent has the four-year-old Taatyana (Faltaat x Clear Advantage by Stark South) looking to continue the Matamata-based stable's recent success. Taatyana won her last start, a rating 80 event over a mile at Otaki on 27 March, by a decisive three lengths.

Speedy filly Special Mission (Towkay x Te Akau Trek by Khozaam) burst onto the scene at the end of last season to win her first three starts including two Listed events. Since then she has recorded a further two wins including one two starts ago when she downed Irlanda and Ebony Babe (Ebony Grosve x Regaletta by Vice Regal) by one-and-a-quarter lengths in the Westbury Classic over 1400m. Trainer Peter McKay has kept apprentice jockey James McDonald on the filly, who will have to overcome a wide barrier.

Ebony Babe also starts on Saturday, representing the Richard and Chris Otto training partnership. The lightly tried four-year-old has raced on nine occasions for four wins and a third placing.

My Hangover (My Halo x Hangover Street by Whiskey Road) will be ridden by South African hoop Jason Jago for Tim Carter. In her last start she finished fourth, almost three lengths behind Sent to Sea, Vercors and last year's Group 1 Champions Mile winner Floydeboy.

Roger James is looking to get some black-type for the five-year-old mare Altesino (More Than Ready x Maraness by Marauding) and has booked apprentice rider Craig Grylls for the ride. From the family of five-time Group 1 winner Zedative and Greys Inn, Altesino comes off the back of a last-start win at Trentham over 1400 metres. She has already proved she can get the distance, having won over 1800 and more in four of her six wins to date.

Completing the field, and with the widest barrier, is Lady Cavalier (Towkay x Malahide by Kings Island), a winner of four of her 30 raceday outings. Trained by Cambridge-based Graham Thomas, apprentice Troy Harris takes the mount and goes head to head with father Noel who has the ride on Pams Pompallier.

New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance also feature as a sponsor on the day, with the fourth race on the card, the New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance 1400 for three-year-olds.



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