Australian Oaks Goal for Ethereal Grand-Daughter
Breednet - Media Release - Saturday, 4 March 2017
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman training
juggernaut landed the first "black type" feature on the Ellerslie programme
today when rugged filly Eleonora emphasised her quality with a fighting performance to take out the McKee Family sponsored
Group III Sunline Vase (2100m).
Having just her second run back from a successful spring campaign in Melbourne,
the Makfi filly proved she's as tough as teak as she repelled a horde of
challenges in the home straight to register her third win from just 10 starts.
Sent out a warm favourite by punters, the filly was hustled out of the gates by
rider Danielle Johnson as she took up a prominent position behind the dawdling
pace set by Hot Saki. Johnson bided her time before issuing a challenge one off
the fence as the field straightened for the run home and shot to a narrow
The challenges came thick and fast, firstly from second favourite Dreamcrafter who was bullocking through a narrow gap
on the rail and out wide from a trio comprising Dame Margo Fonteyn, Veearma and
That was Johnson's cue to get desperate on Eleonora who lifted magnificently to
see off her pursuers, eventually scoring by three quarters of a length from
Dreamcrafter with Dame Margo Fonteyn close up in third.
The victory has likely sealed a bid for the Gr. 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at
Randwick in early April, an event that part-owner Dame Lowell Goddard is keen
"Isn't she wonderful, she's just an absolute joy," she enthused.
"She's an absolute character. I believe the Australian Oaks is on the programme
and if she's there, I will be there."
Eleonora carries the colours of successful Wellington businessman Lib Petagna
who shares in the ownership with Dame Lowell. The filly was a $60,000 purchase
from the Pencarrow Stud draft by bloodstock agent Bruce Perry during the
Premier session of the 2015 NZB National Yearling Sale.
Bred by Pencarrow principal Sir Peter Vela, the filly is the granddaughter of
legendary racemare Ethereal who secured four Group One victories in her racing
career including the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double in 2001. - NZ Racing