Seraphim (NZ), by Rip Van Winkle out of the legendary Pencarrow mare Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm), collected her first black-type success with a supreme staying performance in Sunday’s $55,000 Listed Gallagher Marton Cup (2100m) at Awapuni.
The five-year-old earned her first black-type shot with impressive wins in lower grades in her last two starts, and on Sunday she took the step up in class with ease.
Ridden by Danielle Johnson, she dropped well back behind a strong early pace before improving around the outside of the field rounding the home turn. She quickly took the lead in the straight, then held out the late challengers to win by a half neck.
“She’s gone ahead in leaps and bounds in this preparation,” said Steven Ramsay, who trains in partnership with Julia Ritchie.
“She loves a scrap. When another horse comes up beside her, she knuckles down and raises another effort. She showed plenty of ticker today.
“Today was her first real staying test. We’ll talk to Sir Peter Vela and Garry Cossey and see where we go next, but we might look at some more Cup races down the track.”
Bred and raced by Sir Peter Vela, Seraphim has now had 13 starts for four wins, six placings and more than $80,000 in prizemoney.
Ethereal earned her place in Pencarrow and New Zealand racing folklore with four Group 1 victories including the 2001 Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double.
She is the dam of six winners from seven foals to race, with Seraphim the first black-type winner. Uberalles (NZ) (Giant’s Causeway) was a multiple stakes placegetter including the New Zealand Derby, while Duquesa (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) and Imperium (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) have also placed at stakes level.
Ethereal’s unraced daughter Sopra Tutto (NZ) (Van Nistelrooy) is the dam of the multiple Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed Eleonora (NZ) (Makfi).