Already guaranteed the title of New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year for 2021-22, gavelhouse.com graduate Reputabelle (NZ) (Pins) will try to take her dominant campaign into rare territory in Saturday’s $60,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.
Outstanding wins in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) and Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) have thrust Reputabelle into a commanding lead on the NZB Southern Filly Series points table with 14 points. With 7 points available for winning each race, the only other filly within reach is Art De Triomphe (NZ) (Vadamos), who is not contesting Saturday’s fourth and final leg.
While the Warstep Stakes is now effectively a Southern Filly Series victory lap for Reputabelle, a shot at a rare achievement adds plenty of interest to the 2000-metre feature.
In the 22 years that New Zealand Bloodstock has sponsored the Southern Filly Series, only one horse has ever completed a clean sweep of the NZB Airfreight Stakes, NZB Insurance Stakes and Warstep Stakes – Madam Victoria (NZ) (High Chaparral) in 2014.
Reputabelle has the right credentials to join that exclusive club, having scored highly impressive wins in all of her last four starts, and trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman expect her to relish the step up to 2000 metres this weekend.
But, as always with the NZB Southern Filly Series, there are plenty of high-quality fillies standing in the favourite’s way.
Unusual Countess (NZ) (Unusual Suspect) and Divine Sava (NZ) (Savabeel) ran big races for second and third placings in the NZB Insurance Stakes and are dangers again on Saturday, while the likes of Belle Of The Ball (NZ) (Savabeel), Burgie (NZ) (Ghibellines) and Pickens (NZ) (Belardo) produced eye-catching performances just behind the placegetters and are likely to appreciate the extra distance.
Classic Diva (NZ) (Proisir), meanwhile, backs up from a smart win against older mares in the Francolin Stakes (1400m) at Riverton on Monday.
The New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes will be run as Race 8 at Riccarton on Saturday, with a start time of 3.04pm.