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Floria Fantastic in Brisbane Cup

Floria Fantastic in Brisbane Cup

Kiwi mare Floria (NZ) (Savabeel) added further black-type to her pedigree with a commanding win in Saturday’s Group 2 A$305,000 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm, the third stakes victory of her career.

Carrying the colours of prominent New Zealand stud Haunui Farm, who feature in the ownership of the horse, Floria has won five races and has been placed 13 times, 11 of those placings at stakes level including a Group 1 placing. She has earned A$606,471 for her owners Ron Chitty of Haunui Farm, Cathy Franich and Dennis Nicol.

“We have had a great ride with her,” commented Haunui Farm’s Managing Director Mark Chitty. “It is fantastic for the Moore family bringing in another Group quality horse, and it is great for Savabeel as well to get a mare like that who has been very consistent in front of the Australian racing public.

“She has had 14 starts in Australia and only failed to earn stakes money in one of those performances. She has multiple Australian black-type now and is Group 1 placed over there as well as being a Group 2 and Group 3 winner. It is fantastic going forward for her as a broodmare prospect.

“She may have one more run this campaign, we will see what this week entails but otherwise she will go to stud this spring. She is a rising seven-year-old so it is time for her to go to stud.”

The daughter of Savabeel was stepping up to 2400m for the first time on Saturday against a field of proven stayers that was dominated by New Zealand-bred runners, with nine of the 11 entries carrying the NZ suffix.

Trained by Peter Moody, Floria was a sound third in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) the previous week behind race-favourite Moriarty (Clodovil) and leading rider Kerrin McEvoy was aboard the mare for the first time.

McEvoy settled Floria fourth early in the race that was run at a good tempo when Mr O’Ceirin (NZ) (Postponed), who was stuck wide, went to sit outside the leader Skysoblue (NZ) (Cape Cross) down the back straight.

Floria hit the front early in the home straight with Moriarty stalking her every move. The six-year-old mare dashed clear with Moriarty trying hard to challenge but the Kiwi mare held him at bay to win by 1.3 lengths in race-record time of 2.25.69. Fellow Karaka graduate Zephyron (NZ) (Zabeel) ran on well to finish third.

“The big question mark was if she would run a mile-and-a-half,” said Chitty. “I never thought she would be running that distance at the start of this autumn preparation but Peter (Moody) was always adamant that he wanted to run her over a trip.

“She ran such a good race in the Eagle Farm Cup we elected to have a go and she got significant weight relief going into Saturday’s race. She was given a gun ride by McEvoy and she got the chocolates, it was fantastic.

“It was a dream result, she was the one that flew under the radar a bit, everyone was talking about a whole lot of other New Zealand horses and she was the one that delivered which was nice.”

Saturday’s victory was Floria’s fifth win from 37 starts, the third at stakes level having won the Group 3 Summoned Stakes in Melbourne last year and the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes in New Zealand where she began her career with Stephen McKee.

Bred by Richard Moore, Floria is out of stakes placed Centaine mare Aria, a half-sister to Listed winner Agamemnon (Generous). Floria’s fourth dam is New Zealand Filly of the Year and triple Group 1 winner Solveig (Imposing).

Her sire Savabeel has enjoyed a stellar season, siring 12 stakes winners in Australia and New Zealand this season headed by Group 1 winners Lucia Valentina and Costume.

Floria was purchased by Trevor McKee at the 2009 Karaka Premier Sale for $80,000 from Moore’s Soliloquy Lodge.


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