Kiwi filly Eleonora produced a great Crown Oaks trial with a stylish win in the Group 3 $150,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield today.
Eleonora is the granddaughter of Ethereal, the winner of the 2001 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and it is a fitting result for the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained filly to win the race named after her grand dam.
The Makfi filly was coming off a very unlucky last start eleventh in the Group 2 $200,000 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 2 but a brilliant ride from Damien Oliver today saw Eleonora ($7) weave through the field to record a comfortable one and a quarter lengths win over the out of luck Tiamo Grace ($9) with Savvan ($8.50) in third spot.
The $3.60 favourite Sebring Dream was always back near the tail of the field in the early and middle stages but after making a long sweeping run faded in the straight to finish fifth.
Co-trainer Andrew Forsman said the plan had always been for Eleonora to head to the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 3 and she will now line up as one of the favourites.
“It just panned out a treat,” Forsman said.
“She got a dream run through and all the bad luck she had last time she made up for it today.”
“That is why we brought her here (to run in Crown Oaks) and if we picked up enough money to get into the race we knew she would be hard to beat.”
“To win an Ethereal Stakes, her grand dam is Ethereal, it is a very special moment.”
Runner up Tiamo Grace put up a terrific performance to hit the line strongly after running into plenty of trouble in the early stages of the straight.