Lightly raced three-year-old One Kiss (Tivaci x Discreet Evening) strengthened her claim for higher honours when she dominated proceedings to take out the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton.
Bred and raced by Wellington businessman Lib Petagna under his JML Bloodstock banner, the daughter of Waikato Stud stallion Tivaci, who was also raced by Petagna, was taken south by trainer Mark Walker after finishing seventh on debut at Taupo last month.
Rider Opie Bosson was at his brilliant best as he bounced One Kiss away nicely from the outside barrier in the fourteen-horse field before settling in midfield with cover during the early stages of the race.
Eased into contention turning for home One Kiss produced a burst of speed that took her clear of her rivals at the 250m and despite Bosson losing his whip shortly after, she maintained a solid gallop to win comfortably by just on a length from the fast-finishing pair of Perfectly Suited and Kikimora.
Walker was delighted with the victory as he sets his sights on the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) back at Riccarton on November 12.
TAB Bookmakers reacted to the strong win by marking the filly a $10 chance for the Guineas.
“She’s a really progressive sort of filly and that was a good effort to win a stakes race second-up,” Walker said.
“It was a lovely ride by Opie and she’s still got improvement to come as we look at a possible tilt at the Group One here during Cup Week.”
Bloodstock agent Bruce Perry, who manages Petagna’s racing and bloodstock interests was also delighted with the win. Petagna has recently bolstered his investment in the breeding industry with the acquisition of pristine Matamata nursery Valachi Downs, which has been rebranded Elsdon Park.
“Mark’s done a really good job with her. Jamie Richards always rated her and said she was a nice filly,” Perry said.
“She had trialled really well and we backed the expertise and opinion of those people at Te Akau Racing.
“It’s nice to get black type with a filly so early in her career and along with her Savabeel half-sister Santa Catarina she’s the second stakes winner from the mare (Discreet Evening).
“We’ve still got Santa Catarina and Discreet Evening, who unfortunately is proving difficult to get in foal.”
Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis was also pleased to point out a new milestone for the stable after the victory.
“It was a very proud moment for Te Akau to train our first black type winner for JML Bloodstock and Lib Petagna, and we’re really grateful that he and Bruce Perry gave us this nice filly to train,” he said.
“She’s shown ability right through and Opie had the choice of rides, as he does in all the races, because when you have ridden 86 Group One winners, you’re obviously a great judge and he chose to ride One Kiss which showed the confidence he has in this filly.”
One Kiss becomes the third individual stakes winner for her sire Tivaci, a son of High Chaparral who stands his fifth season at Waikato Stud for a fee of $20,000+GST (LFG) in 2022, with his other stakes winners Group One heroine Never Been Kissed and smart three-year-old Wolverine, a multiple Group Two winner. – NZ Racing Desk