Lilikoi is out on her own as she races to victory at Awapuni Photo: Race Images – Grant Matthew
Matamata visitor Lilikoi (NZ) (Charm Spirit) showed she was on track for further age-group riches this summer with a comprehensive victory in Saturday’s Gr.3 Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni.
The Sir Peter Vela-bred and raced Charm Spirit filly thrived on the step up to 1600m as she dashed away from her three-year-old rivals over the concluding stages to register a comfortable two
Settled in a perfect trailing position by rider Rosie Myers, the Jamie Richards-trained runner bounded to the front at the top of the Awapuni straight and never looked like being headed as she downed Manchu (Redoute’s Choice), Showbeel (NZ) (Savabeel) and race favourite Aalaalune (NZ) (Reliable Man) to register her second career success.
Richards, who was at Te Rapa for Waikato Cup Day, was thrilled to see the filly win in such dominant fashion after planning a raid on the event with Vela’s racing manager Gary Cossey.
“That was fantastic to see her win like that for Sir Peter and the result of a plan we put together after she had won her maiden race at Taupo back in September,” Richards said.
“When she won that day, Gary Cossey and I had a good chat and he was keen to set her for the race today.
“This one is a leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series, which is an ideal series to target as it lets the fillies compete against their own sex in some very nice races.
“It’s good to see a plan come together as she is a filly with a lovely turn of foot, who looks like she will be suited as she gets up over a trip.”
Richards was also delighted with the ride by Rosie Myers who had the filly expertly positioned throughout in a race that was run at a muddling pace in the initial stages.
“It was a lovely ride and she (Myers) had her in the right spot to attack at the right time,” he said.
“We won’t be making any decisions about where she goes next until she has had some time to get over this one but she does hold a nomination for the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m), so that will be in our thinking going forward.”
Lilikoi is a daughter of imported Giant’s Causeway mare Barbadine, who won twice in Ireland before making her way to New Zealand, after being purchased by Vela, where she won over 2300m at Otaki.
Pencarrow Stud will offer a Vadamos half-brother to Lilikoi during Book 1 at the New Zealand National Yearling Sale at Karaka later next month.