Velas Nominated for 2012 NZ Breeder of the Year

After a successful 2011/12 season on the track, Pencarrow Stud principals Peter & Philip Vela have been nominated for the award of Breeder of the Year at New Zealand’s Thoroughbred Racing Awards in September.

With five individual stakes winners bred by Peter and Philip Vela and two additional Group/Stakes placed performers this season, the distinguished list is headed by the brilliant mare Guiseppina (Johar x Battocchi).


Having her most successful season on the track, Guiseppina’s headline victory came in one of New Zealand’s premier Group 1 races – the $300,000 Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.

Coming into the Telegraph Handicap after almost two months away from the track, the Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie trained five-year-old signalled she was ready for her first tilt at Group 1 level with a big win in the Listed Levin Stakes (1200m) at her previous race appearance. In a top season, Guiseppina also ran a very good fourth in the Group 1 Waikato Draught Sprint after missing the start and third in the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki.

Further success came from Guiseppina’s dam Battocchi with the mare producing the Pencarrow bred Micken (Darci Brahma) who ran second in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1500m) in October.

A $1.3 million yearling, Burgundy (Redoute’s Choice x Grand Echezeaux) had a solid three-year-old season posting three victories at stakes level. Unbeaten in his first three starts culminating in the Listed Canterbury Stakes, the three-quarter brother to Darci Brahma found his best form over shorter trips with scintillating wins in the Listed Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) and Group 3 Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

Burgundy’s trainer Jason Bridgman has a huge opinion of the colt and is keen to send him to Australia to race against the best in the 2012/13 racing season.

Adding further stakes success to Pencarrow’s foundation family was Dolmabache (Redoute’s Choice) who claimed her first black-type victory in the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m). Dolmabache is out of the Zabeel mare Our Echezeaux, a sister to Grand Echezeaux – the dam of Burgundy and Darci Brahma.

The Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie trained four-year-old had a four month stint in Australia this season before being brought back to New Zealand. Unplaced in her first start back in New Zealand in the Listed Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes in April, she won the Group 2 Travis Stakes at her next appearance, taking her winning tally to three from 17 starts.

Trainers Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie claimed their third stakes success of the season for Pencarrow Racing with Papilio (Redoute’s Choice x Lafleur) who won the Listed South Island Breeders’ Stakes (1600m). A half-sister to the Pencarrow raced Amaryllis (Red Ransom), winner of the Group 3 Darley Plate, Papilio’s stakes success came at her first tilt at black-type level and took her career stats to three wins and three placings from just 10 starts.

Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie have had a highly successful season, their first as licensed trainers. The pair also saw Pink Beach, Pomellato, Viva Roma, Vandenne, Deliciano and Barbadine all successful on the track. They also trained their first two-year-old winner with the immensely promising filly Pure Elegance winning her only start this season.

Abroad, the Peter and Philip Vela and New England Stud bred Maarek (Pivotal x Ruby Rocket) claimed his first black-type victory when winning the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes (1200m) at Newcastle in England. A handy sprinter, the five-year-old boasts six wins from his 20 starts and has also been successful on the track in Ireland.

The Laurie Laxon trained Martial Art (Tiger Hill x Kwan) also represented Pencarrow at stakes level this season running third in the Sgp-1 Singapore Cup (2200m) in November last year.

Last season Peter and Philip Vela were nominated for Owners of the Year at New Zealand’s 2011 Thoroughbred Awards with Guiseppina, Our Ella Belle and Amaryllis all winning at stakes level.