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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Monday, March 27 2017

Royally bred four-year-old Cote D'or showed she will be a contender for higher honours next season when she dominated her opposition in the Bayleys Real Estate 2100 at Tauranga.

Cote D'or  - Trish Dunell

The Makfi mare started a warm favourite in the rating 75 contest off the back of an unlucky run on her home track just 10 days earlier. Leading rider Danielle Johnson had her nicely positioned on the rail in midfield during the early stages as Laddie Of Oakview set a steady pace at the head of affairs.

Johnson improved the mare to sit behind the leaders as the small field bunched for the run home before driving her into a gap one off the rail early in the straight. Cote D'Or simply bounded clear before easing down at the line to score by a comfortable two lengths from Victory Drive who headed the chasing pack.

Co-trainer Ken Kelso cut a satisfied figure as he waited for Johnson and the mare to return to the winner's enclosure.

"She has improved from her last run which was her first one over ground," he noted.

"It was a lovely ride by Danielle on a mare that is improving the whole time. She can also handle a bit of cut in the ground as she proved today.

"The track was a little bit false but she handled it so now I will have a chat to connections before we decide what to do with her next.

"I would like to say a big thanks to my trackwork rider Nick Wratten as without him we wouldn't have got here as she's not easy. She can be very difficult to work at home and he has done a great job with her."

Kelso believes the mare has the potential to compete in a higher grade as she matures into her next campaign.

"I think there is quite a bit of development in her," he said.

"She was quite frail earlier on but is strengthening up now. She has always had ability but just needed to learn how to race."

Cote D'Or is the daughter of Zabeel mare Our Echezeaux and a half-sister to Gr. 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) winner Dolmabache who finished runner-up to Sangster in the 2013 Gr. 1 International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email