Duquesa Qualifies for Dunstan Stayers Championship

Pencarrow Stud bred Duquesa (NZ) (Encosta De Lago x Ethereal) saw success at Ellerslie’s meeting on Saturday winning the Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier (2200m).

The five-year-old mare, trained by Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie has earned herself 9 points in the Dunstan Stayers Championship to bring her tally to 10 points, and holds a nomination to the Dunstan Stayers Championship Final on the 1st January. Her stablemate Rasa Lila also currently has 9 points in the Championship Series.

Ramsay commented, “It was a good win; the way the race was run there wasn’t a lot of pace on but she sustained a long run and went forward at the 800m. I was really impressed at her sustaining such a long run; it was a very good effort.”

Missing the start put her back nine lengths from the leader in the early stages. This did not deter jockey Matthew Cameron as Duquesa swept around the outside and sprinted up the straight, flying into the lead for a two and a half-length victory.

“I felt gutted when she missed the start but Matthew Cameron used his initiative and taking off when he did was the winning of the race,” commented Ramsay.

“Matthew said he was really impressed, she is a good stayer and looks to get a good race out of her. She is unbeaten at 2200m and is likely to go further.”

Proud Life (Proud Citizen) in second place and Austin Road (NZ) (Mediator) in third place, battled against each other to achieve a place in the Dunstan Championship Qualifier.

After Saturday’s claim, she has four wins from her 14 race day starts, earning $53,000 for owner Sir Peter Vela.

“We have a few races in mind for her now. She holds the nomination for the Dunstan Stayers Championship or there is a possibility to send her to the Group 3 Awapuni Cup. We would like to get her in some black type races so I will assess her races as she goes, there are plenty of races coming up over the carnival,” says Ramsay.

Bred by Sir Peter Vela and Philip Vela, Duquesa is out of multiple Group 1 champion Ethereal (Rhythm) whose races include the Group 1 Queensland Oaks, Caulfield Cup, BMW and Melbourne Cup.

Ethereal’s progeny include Uberalles (Giant’s Causeway) who placed third in the New Zealand Derby and the Great Northern Guineas. Ethereal has a filly foal at foot, sired by New Zealand champion sire O’Reilly.