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Treasure find for Cambridge Breeder

Imelda Mary winning the Gr.2 Sir Tristram fillies Classic - Racing Images
Imelda Mary winning the Gr.2 Sir Tristram fillies Classic - Racing Images

Cambridge based breeder Sue Westend, was devastated when she lost her mare My Amnesia (AUS) {Elvstroem[AUS]-Attire[AUS]) foaling in 2015, and vowed to get herself another mare from that family.

“My Amnesia was a half-sister to the former champion Australian two-year-old Fashions Afield ( Redoute’s Choice[AUS]-Attire[AUS]),” Westend said, “and I said to Peter when we lost her that I would love to get back into that family.”

It took a wee while but scrolling through the Gavelhouse website in late 2017, she found a close relation in Eleesha (AUS) an unraced mare by Encosta de Lago(AUS) out of Modellista (AUS), a two time winning sister to Fashions Afield and half-sister to My Amnesia, and purchased her for $2,000.

That mare is the dam of Imelda Mary (by Ferlax) the current favourite for the Gr.1Al Basti Equiworld Dubai  New Zealand Oaks next month and the leading contender for the NZB Filly of The Year, following her recent victory in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa.

It was her second victory over the 2000 metre distance and her second at group two level having previously won the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes at Ellerslie.  The start before that the Wayne Hillis trained filly – who is named after his mother – had won a maiden 1600 metre, on the back of a solid fifth placing in the Gr.1 Gavelhouse 1000 Guineas.

“She’s not bad for a first foal,” enthused Westend.

“What’s even better is that she came out of the Festival Sale, where so many horses originate from. She sold for $3,500 and has now won two group two races and over $168,000 in stakes.

“It’s so sad that the buyers don’t support that sale, we took 12 lots up this year, and only sold three on the day. With the help of NZB we have managed to sell most of them now, but it’s an underrated sale.

“We will always support it but it’s a really hard sale to sell at, and having a race meeting in the region on the same day surely doesn’t help. It will be interesting to see what happens at the weanling and broodmare sale in May.”

As stated Imelda Mary is the first foal of Eleesha, and is by the ill-fated stallion Ferlax. The winner of the Gr.1 Australian Guineas, the son of Pentire stood at Haunui Farm for three seasons before dying following a paddock accident.  Imelda Mary was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock, who originally raced Ferlax.

She returned to Ferlax again on two occasions but failed to get in foal, the Westend’s had more luck and now have a striking Sweynesse (AUS) colt foal from the Eleesha. She is now in foal to Tarzino.

Eleesha is a member of the small broodmare band of the Westend’s Westend Partnership and is resident at their Norwegian Stud, in Cambridge which was previously a large agistment operation, but is now home to the young Savabeel (AUS) sire What’s The Story.

And as for My Amnesia’s foal that led to her untimely death, he is Xpressmymind who was the first winner for the Windsor Park Stud stallion Shamexpress. - Michelle Saba



 

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