Plenty of Merit to Maiden Win

Pencarrow Racing filly Meritaggio (Road To Rock x Ruppertsberg) broke through for her first win in the $7,000 Matamata Glass & Joinery 1400 at Matamata.

The lightly raced filly had three raceday starts, racing up to 1560m, prior to winning at her fourth appearance for trainers Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie.

Going forward in the early stages for jockey Leith Innes, Meritaggio raced three-wide behind the leaders in the early stages. Making her way into third position within the first 400m, she pushed further forward to be alongside front-runner Hearts In The Sky (NZ) (Towkay), who tracked the rail as they approached the corner.

The home run saw Ashwini (NZ) (Iffraaj) narrowly take the lead with Meritaggio running strongly behind but the Road To Rock filly was a touch too strong, taking victory in the final moments by a long neck over Ashwini, who finished the race in second place, and Big Dreamer (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) in third.

The three-year-old filly has increased her winnings to $4,550 for her owners Sir Peter Vela and Laurie Laxon who bred Meritaggio with Philip Vela.

Meritaggio is by Road to Rock, a son of Encosta de Lago, and is out of Ruppertsberg (Montjeu), a half-sister to stakes placegetter Bettws (Zabeel). The filly is a half-sister to Adolay (Fast ‘n’ Famous), runner-up in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes.

Granddam Clear Rose (Deputy Governor) was winner of the Group 1 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas and was joint top filly on The 1995-96 3YO Free Handicap.