Smart Maiden Win for Atacama

Hot off the heels of the Pencarrow filly Biddable breaking her maiden on Sunday, Atacama followed suit breaking maiden ranks at Te Awamutu yesterday.

Trained by Shaune Ritchie for Peter & Philip Vela, Atacama (Pentire x Almaviva, by Catbird) came into yesterday’s $7,000 1400 metre maiden 3YO event after finishing unplaced after a tough debut at Ellerslie where she was forced to race wide at the back of the field.

Yesterday’s race saw the filly get the box seat with jockey Jason Waddell in the saddle, racing just off the pace and finding clear running room 400 metres from home. In an impressive display in the straight, the daughter of Pentire produced a good turn of foot to run down breakaway leader Flamboyant (Bachelor Duke) to win by a nose in an exciting finish.

Atacama showed some promise in her trials – placing in two of her three outings – before making her debut and, given her performance at Te Awamutu yesterday, she looks to have a bit to offer on the track.

Bred by Peter and Philip Vela, Atacama is from the Catbird mare Almaviva, a half-sister to the stakes placed Let Loushe (Black Minnaloushe) and a daughter of the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks placed Pavan (Centaine). She also hails from the family of Group 1 winner Allez Suez (Canny Lad) and current performer Spacecraft (Galileo).

Almaviva has a yearling colt by Alamosa entered in the Karaka Select Sale in January 2013, and has produced a filly by Tavistock this season.