Skip to main content
 New Zealand Gallops News 
Sunday, March 05 2017

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman training juggernaut landed the first "black type" feature on the Ellerslie programme today when rugged filly Eleonora emphasised her quality with a fighting performance to take out the McKee Family sponsored Gr. 3 Sunline Vase (2100m).

Eleonora - Trish Dunell

Having just her second run back from a successful spring campaign in Melbourne, the Makfi filly proved she's as tough as teak as she repelled a horde of challenges in the home straight to register her third win from just 10 starts.

Sent out a warm favourite by punters, the filly was hustled out of the gates by rider Danielle Johnson as she took up a prominent position behind the dawdling pace set by Hot Saki. Johnson bided her time before issuing a challenge one off the fence as the field straightened for the run home and shot to a narrow advantage. The challenges came thick and fast, firstly from second favourite Dreamcrafter who was bullocking through a narrow gap on the rail and out wide from a trio comprising Dame Margo Fonteyn, Veearma and Date Night.

That was Johnson's cue to get desperate on Eleonora who lifted magnificently to see off her pursuers, eventually scoring by three quarters of a length from Dreamcrafter with Dame Margo Fonteyn close up in third.

The victory has likely sealed a bid for the Gr. 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in early April, an event that part-owner Dame Lowell Goddard is keen to attend.

"Isn't she wonderful, she's just an absolute joy," she enthused.

"She's an absolute character. I believe the Australian Oaks is on the programme and if she's there, I will be there."

Eleonora carries the colours of successful Wellington businessman Lib Petagna who shares in the ownership with Dame Lowell. The filly was a $60,000 purchase from the Pencarrow Stud draft by bloodstock agent Bruce Perry during the Premier session of the 2015 NZB National Yearling Sale.

Bred by Pencarrow principal Sir Peter Vela, the filly is the granddaughter of legendary racemare Ethereal who secured four Group One victories in her racing career including the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double in 2001.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email