Christmas came a day late for Bullbars as his daughter Contessa Vanessa (ex Di Lusso) won the Group Two Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie and in the process, provided Bullbars with his first Group winner.
Contessa Vanessa, from Bullbars' second crop, came into the mile race off an unlucky third placing at Awapuni in the Eulogy Stakes. Trained by Team Rogerson and ridden by Ryan Elliot, Contessa Vanessa bounced from her inside draw and relaxed in behind the leaders travelling sweetly to the turn. On straightening, Elliot began looking for a run, but had to check the filly at least twice in the straight. When a gap finally emerged, Contessa Vanessa showed an impressive turn of foot to grab the leaders just short of the line.
A step up to 2,000m in the Royal Stakes on New Years Day now beckons, and then perhaps on to the Oaks. Her trainer is confident that the extra distance won't be an issue for Contessa Vanessa. Pedigree-wise, Bullbars has had a winner up to a mile and a half and on her dam side, staying blood from Zabeel and Shirley Heights will help.
Although these celebrations could have occurred at the Eulogy Stakes, it was perhaps fitting that the Group victory occurred in the Eight Carat as the Cambridge Stud Blue Hen appears in the pedigree of Contessa Vanessa as the dam of Octagonal, the grandsire of Di Lusso, the dam of Contessa Vanessa.
Contessa Vanessa was sold out of our Select draft at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock sales for $50,000 to Team Rogerson. She was bred by Robhar Breeding & Racing.
Bullbars had gone within a whisker of having a Group One winner from his first crop when Sicario was just beaten in the Sires Produce Stakes at Awapuni.
Another milestone achieved today was that Contessa Vanessa became the 75th Stakes winner off the farm at Highview Stud. We look forward to cracking to ton!