Debut Victory for Cote de Nuits

First starter Cote de Nuits (NZ) (Stravinsky ex. Madame Echezeaux) made the best possible start to his career with a win on debut in the $7,000 Cooper Young Construction Tauranga Maiden 1300m at Tauranga for Pencarrow Racing.

Bred by his owner Sir Peter Vela along with Philip Vela, three-year-old Cote de Nuits is the second winner from two foals to race for his dam Madame Echezeaux, with Pink Bubbles (Pins) also a winner earlier this season. He also continues a good start to 2014 for Pencarrow as the second winner since 1 January and the fourth for the blue and whites this week so far.

Continuing the wine theme of the family, Cote de Nuits was named by Pencarrow Racing Manager Garry Cossey after the sub-region of Burgundy in France where Echezeaux vineyard is situated.

His dam, the well-bred Madame Echezeaux (Montjeu) - a half-sister to Darci Brahma and Burgundy - will be represented by a yearling filly by dual hemisphere Group 1 winning sprinter Starspangledbanner in the upcoming Karaka Premier Sale catalogued at Lot 114 for Pencarrow Stud.

Trained in Cambridge by Roger James, Cote de Nuits carried good trial form into his first raceday appearance having finished a close second behind Glorious Lad (Falkirk), a two-time winner and Group 3 runner-up, and beat home Mystic Blue (Sakhee’s Secret) who is also a raceday winner now among his three trial placings.

Leading apprentice jockey Rory Hutchings was aboard the three-year-old gelding from barrier 3. The pair travelled behind the leaders and between runners for much of the journey before getting into the clear as the field straightened for the run home.

Cote de Nuits went to the leader who had a good kick on the inside and it took the gelding the length of the Tauranga straight to reach the lead but he managed to get his nose in front on the line to record a debut victory.

“I thought it was a very professional effort for his first start,” commented Roger James. “I can see plenty of improvement to be derived from this outing.

“He had improved markedly from his last trial, his worked had been very good and he will improve with a bit of racing.

“I still think he is learning how to gallop on his own, he didn’t really want to leave the other horse and I don’t think it was because he didn’t have more to give I think he didn’t really know what to do when he got his nose in front.

“I would like to work him first and make certain he is alright before I make any bold plans with him.”

Madame Echezeaux foaled a filly by Cape Blanco in 2013 and was covered by Cambridge Stud’s first season sire Power.