Duchess Could Have Another Filly Of The Year

Cambridge-trained filly Tavy capped off a successful few days for Henrietta, the Duchess of Bedford, when taking the climb from a maiden win to a stakes victory at Ellerslie yesterday.

Tavy lived up to her reputation when winning the Listed $50,000 Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO in impressive style, while three days earlier Snapshot, a four-year-old son of the multiple Group One winner Snap cleared maiden ranks on debut at Te Aroha.

Though that win was a close call with the Graham Richardson-trained Snapshot getting home by a mere nose, it was a special occasion for the Duchess, who races him in partnership with Berri Schroder, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, former All Black Ali Williams and Will Rouse.

The Duchess enjoyed many highlights as a part-owner of Snapshot’s dam, Snap (now 24), who was the 1993-94 NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year and included in her 11 wins the 1993 Magic Millions Classic at Trentham and four Group Ones (Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes, 1000 Guineas, NZ Oaks and Waikato Draught Sprint) as well as a Group Three win at Flemington.

Though Tavy cannot yet be mentioned in the same breath as Snap, the daughter of Tavistock is an exciting prospect who looks set to develop into a genuine NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year prospect.

Bred and part-owned by the Duchess, Tavy stepped out in the last month as a two-year-old for her first trial and was successful. She then won a trial at Avondale last September, a few weeks before an eye-catching second in her raceday debut at Taupo.

A month later in her second start she finished strongly to clear maiden ranks at Ellerslie, beating promising three-year-olds Palace Rock and Midnitemagicman. And it was again the latter (also by Tavistock) who chased her home yesterday, being a long neck behind.

Tavy’s win was no surprise to anyone who had watched her lead-up performances and was just what trainer Roger James wanted to see.

“This will be the the test for her,” said James in the lead-up to the Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO. “She’s always shown plenty and I’m sure she’s up to it.”

After watching Tavy unleash an irresistable finish to win, James was all smiles, being especially happy for his long-time friend, Peter Hutt, who also shares in the ownership of the filly with Filiberto Rayon-Villela.

“She was quite impressive when she won her maiden and that was a pretty smart performance today,” he said. “Vinnie (Colgan) never touched her.”

Tavy will return to Ellerslie for the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic on Boxing Day and James believes she could manage 2000 metres, the distance of the Royal Stakes, another race in the NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year series.

- Cambridge JC

Posted: Sun 30 Nov 2014