Nepheti back to winning form at Ellerslie

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  • April 02, 2024
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Nepheti back to winning form at Ellerslie

Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A drop back in distance paid dividends for progressive filly Nepheti when she bounced back to winning form at Ellerslie in a three-year-old 1400m contest.

Prepared by Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray at Cambridge the pair had given the daughter of Charm Spirit her chance to stretch out to a middle distance when she took on the Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m) at the venue at the beginning of the month.

That experiment didn’t pay off as she faded to a midfield position after a tough trip early in the race, but after a brief freshen up and a drop back to the 1400m journey on Saturday, Nepheti showed she has a touch of class when finishing strongly to take out the Barfoot & Thompson 1400 in the hands of the in-form Sam Weatherley.

Given a perfect trip in the trail by Weatherley, Nepheti was full of running when she angled into the clear at the 300m and quickly joined issue with race favourite My Annie Belle before dashing away to win by a length and a quarter at the post.

Ritchie revealed he has some Trans-Tasman ambitions with the filly although her ability to go further than a mile has him in two minds on whether to press ahead with that plan.

“She is a nice filly who is putting a good strike rate together now,” Ritchie said.

“We had a couple of softer options at Hastings in the past where she looked impressive, but it’s nice to come to Ellerslie and beat a better quality of three-year-old.

“We had a rethink after the 2100m last time and although she had to work hard into the first corner that day she got it too soft down the back not to run out the distance that day.

“There is an 1800m Group Three race in Adelaide in a fortnight but that 1800m makes you nervous and there is a mile at Riccarton at the same time.

“You don’t want to go to the well too many times but they are only three once and we want to get some black type with her.”

The options referred to by Ritchie were the Gr.3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville and the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.

Bred by Windsor Park Stud, Nepheti is raced by the Stud along with the Galaxy Racing No. 7 Syndicate and is out of the race-winning Thorn Park mare Nymph.

She is the grand daughter of Auraria Stakes winner Fairy Oak and comes from an extended family that includes Group One winners Just A Dancer and Field Dancer.


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