Belle En Rouge bucked recent history when she headed to Awapuni and capped a consistent spring with a deserved victory in Saturday’s Gr.3 LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m).
The Burgundy filly been a black-type placegetter in both of her last two starts, including a close third in last month’s Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m). On Saturday she became the first filly in almost a decade to win the Eulogy after contesting the Riccarton classic. The last to achieve that feat was Soriano in 2012, who had finished sixth in the 1000 Guineas of that year.
Belle En Rouge has spent the last couple of months in the shadows of Te Akau Racing stablemates Imperatriz and The Perfect Pink, but on Saturday it was her turn.
Ridden by apprentice jockey Joe Kamaruddin, who picked up his first stakes success, Belle En Rouge settled in fourth behind a steady pace set by impressive last-start maiden winner Achieve.
That rival still had plenty to offer at the top of the straight, but Kamaruddin went to work on Belle En Rouge and the $2.50 favourite worked through her gears. Belle En Rouge moved up alongside Achieve with 200 metres to run and gradually gained the upper hand from there, edging ahead to score by a neck.
“It was a great result for the owners and for Joe (Kamaruddin) to get his first stakes winner in the tangerine (colours) for Te Akau,” Jamie Richards said. “It was a lovely ride.”
“We gave her a week in the paddock after the 1000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m), time to refresh, and Lydia Truesdale and the team have done a wonderful job with her at Riccarton.
“They sent her to Palmerston North on Thursday, in great order, and she’s a filly that’s doing a really good job.”
Richards said, depending how Belle En Rouge comes through the race and trip home she could prepare for the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.
Owned by the Te Akau Beautiful in Red Racing Partnership, Belle En Rouge was bred by David Ellis and his wife Karyn Fenton-Ellis.
“Every year we pick two or three of what we think are the best weanlings on the farm and syndicate them,” Ellis said.
“She always looked a standout type to me, since the day she was born, and deserved a stakes win after some very good performances.
“I’m thrilled for Joe (Kamaruddin). He works so hard, had a great start to his riding career and winning his first stakes race is great thrill for everyone.”
The win was a Te Akau triumph all-round, with stable apprentice Kamaruddin riding Belle En Rouge for trainer Richards, who celebrated his 10th stakes win of the 2021-22 New Zealand racing season.
Belle En Rouge has now had six starts for two wins, three placings and $89,680 in stakes.
Pierro filly Achieve now has a win and a Group Three placing to her name from just three starts, while Unusual Culture added a third placing to her last-start second in the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki. – NZ Racing Desk