If Saturday’s Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa was the final New Zealand appearance for Molly Bloom, the Group One-winning filly farewelled her homeland on a high.
The daughter of Ace High established herself as one of the standouts of her generation in the late spring, scoring scintillating victories in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m).
Molly Bloom’s winning sequence was interrupted in last month’s Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m), where she got a long way back, was never able to get into the race and finished seventh behind Orchestral. But she bounced back in style on Saturday, playing a starring role in her first attempt at 2000m.
Jumping as a $2.60 favourite as a heavy shower drifted over the course, Molly Bloom settled in sixth spot and one off the rail for jockey Joe Doyle. She began to cruise forward out wide coming down the side of the track, then pounced as the field straightened for home.
Molly Bloom dashed up alongside the front-running Harlow Rocks, and despite getting her head to the side and drifting inwards through the last 200m, her superiority shone through and she edged ahead to win by three-quarters of a length.
It was a winning reunion for Doyle and Molly Bloom, whose previous race together was the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 18.
“I’m delighted and so grateful to the connections for putting me on,” Doyle said. “She’s an exceptional filly, and these are the types of horses you want to ride. She has bags of class and ability.
“She was the class act in the race today. We got a very smooth run, and then I switched her to the outside and she took off. She probably got there a little bit early, but when you’re on class horses like these you don’t want to run the risk of getting stuck behind horses. She was too strong in the end.”
Molly Bloom was bought by Wexford Stables trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott for $150,000 from Seaton Park’s draft at Karaka 2022. She has now had eight starts for four wins, a placing and $566,800.
Molly Bloom had an ownership change during the week, with prominent Australian owner Ozzie Kheir coming on board alongside the existing syndicate.
“This is a great result for Ozzie, who’s been very keen on this filly since day one,” O’Sullivan said. “I’m thrilled for him. There’s always a bit of pressure in the first race after making a purchase like that, so for her to win the way she did is fantastic. It’s great for her previous owners as well, who have retained a 50 percent share.
“And we’re just delighted to win this race. We’ve known David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis for a long time now, so it’s certainly a special race to win.”
Molly Bloom will remain in the O’Sullivan/Scott stable for the rest of her three-year-old racing, but she is likely to chase Australian black-type, with potential targets including the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in Sydney and the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) in Brisbane. She will then join an Australian stable.
“That’s still to be decided and Ozzie is going to have input on that, but I’m sure she’ll end up with a top Australian trainer,” O’Sullivan said.
Although Molly Bloom is not expected to play any further part in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, she has now won three of the eight legs that have been run so far and holds a commanding lead with 28 points. Her nearest challenger is Impendabelle with 15.
Saturday’s runner-up Harlow Rocks earned her first four points of the series, while the third-placed Livid Sky earned two points and now also has a total of four.
Molly Bloom completed a race-to-race double at Te Rapa on Saturday for O’Sullivan and Scott, who had previously saddled Kingfisher to win the Dr John Southworth Memorial Vase (1200m).
– Article by LOVERACING.NZ News Desk.