Staying is Duquesa’s Blood

The staying prowess of Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm) is still to the fore, 13 years after her victory, through her daughter Duquesa (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) who was victorious in the $18,500 Mini/Maxi Marquees Rating 75 2100m at Te Rapa on Saturday.

A winner over 2100m and 2200m last season, Duquesa was having her third run in this campaign and showed she was at peak fitness with a strong win over 2100m for trainers Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie.

“They ran the race at quite a good speed and she is a pretty good stayer,” commented Ramsay. “We late scratched her on Tuesday and that was 2400m so she was always going to get the 2100m.

“It was a good tough win, she settles lovely in her races and she just out-toughed them on Saturday.”

Duquesa was late scratched on Tuesday at Ellerslie due to the rain affected track. That race was to be over 2400m and she proved her fitness at Te Rapa.

The race was run at good tempo with rider Samantha Collet positioning Duquesa mid-field. Collet brought the daughter of Encosta de Lago to the centre of the track in the straight to make her run. Delveen (Enosta de Lago) had raced to the front but Duquesa gained the upper hand in the dying stages to win by head.

“Hopefully she can keep stepping up and make it to something like the Wellington Cup. It was a handy field on Saturday, probably five-lengths stronger than the race on Tuesday. On her breeding she should get further – she is out of a mare who won over two-miles.”

Duquesa’s win was followed 20 minutes later by victory to Silver Eclipse (Darci Brahma x Zino Belle) in the Listed Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton, also a Ramsay/Ritchie trained runner for Pencarrow Racing. The stable also had Rasa Lila (Darci Brahma x Dance My Dance) finish second at Te Rapa and Deliciano (Darci Brahma x Santagostino) was runner-up in the Listed Metropolitan Handicap at Riccarton.

Saturday’s win was Duquesa’s third win from 12 starts for owner Sir Peter Vela who bred the horse with Philip Vela.

Duquesa is out of champion mare Ethereal, winner of four Group 1 races. Ethereal is the dam of four winners including the stakes performed Uberalles (Giant’s Causeway). Ethereal is out of Hong Kong Cup winner Romanee Conti, a daughter of Richebourg (Vice Regal) who is the dam of Group 1 winner Grand Echezaux (Zabeel), the dam of five-time Group 1 winner Darci Brahma (Danehill).

Ethereal has a yearling filly by Rip Van Winkle and foaled a filly in September by New Zealand’s Champion Sire O’Reilly.