Champion trainer Jamie Richards and the Te Akau team have sent out an abundance of talent this season, and a remarkable performance in Saturday’s Gr.2 Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie may have moved Amarelinha by Savabeel- Hopscotch (O'Reilly) towards the top of the list.
Along with Melody Belle’s Group One Hawke’s Bay heroics, a five-win haul on New Zealand Cup day at Riccarton and now a sensational six on Boxing Day, Richards has been responsible for a seemingly endless production line of two-year-old and three-year-old winners.
He has saddled eight individual juvenile winners this season, with the unbeaten Palamos adding a second victory to his CV on Saturday, while the stable’s three-year-old stars include Group One winner Kahma Lass and stakes winners Need I Say More, Miss Aotearoa, Cornflower Blue, Brando and Amarelinha.
Amarelinha was as impressive on Saturday as any of those predecessors, displaying a scintillating turn of foot in the home straight to eat up a six-length deficit within a handful of strides as she eased to a length and a quarter advantage over gallant runner-up Fleetwood Maca.
“She’s a very exciting filly with an amazing turn of foot,” Bosson said.
“I was excited from about the 600-metre mark – she was travelling so well and I just couldn’t wait to let her go. But I waited until the home straight, and then she just went past them all so quickly.
“She switched off a bit late in the race, having a look at the crowd and pricking her ears.
“I’m so excited. I haven’t ridden one like this for a while.”
Bought by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $300,000 from Waikato Stud’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019, Amarelinha has now had three starts for two wins and a second. Her last-start maiden win came at the expense of Dawn Parade, who was an impressive winner of his next start.
“She quickened very well today and looked like a good filly,” Richards said.
“She’s a filly I’ve always had quite a big opinion of. When David bought her at Karaka, I said that I thought she looked a bit like Probabeel.
“She’s got a lovely pedigree, she’s by the right stallion and has that great Waikato Stud brand as well. She’s got a good future.”
Despite being held in such regard by the stable, Amarelinha’s debut was delayed until mid-November at Awapuni.
“She won a trial at Te Teko back in August, and a lot of very good horses have come out of those trials,” Richards said.
“We thought she looked like a lovely filly for the 1000 Guineas, but she just had a few little setbacks through the spring.
“That extra time has turned out to be a blessing, and she’s a filly who’s in a great space at the moment.”
The TAB reacted to Saturday’s win by moving Amarelinha up to $6 favouritism for the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 20.
“I think 2000m and 2400m will be no problem at all for her, so I think we’ve got a bit to look forward to in the new year with her,” Richards said.
Amarelinha is now also a $3 second favourite for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 23, with Bosson firmly committed to the gruelling challenge of making her 54.5kg weight.
“It’s gonna hurt, but I’ll pull finger and get it done,” he said. “She’s going to be a very good ride.”
Saturday’s Eight Carat Classic was the fifth leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series and Amarelinha became Richards’ third winner, following on from Miss Aotearoa in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and Kahma Lass in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
The Eight Carat Classic victory earned eight points for Amarelinha in the Filly of the Year Series, and she now sits in second place on the table behind Kahma Lass (15). – NZ Racing Desk