Superb Return by Cote D’Or (NZ)

Classy Pencarrow mare Cote D’Or (NZ) (Makfi) is set to race for black type this season after making an eye-catching return from her winter break at Pukekohe on Sunday.

Winner of three of her last four starts last season over distances ranging from 1600 to 2200 metres, the five-year-old charged home from second-last to win the $30,000 Collett Racing Stables Rating 85 (1200m) by three lengths.

She has now won four of her last five, six out of 13 in total, and just under $80,000 in prize-money for owner-breeder Sir Peter Vela.

“We were worried about the Heavy11 today,” co-trainer Ken Kelso said. “But we had to run her because the Matamata Cup is our first big target for this season and it’s only three weeks away.

“We’re just delighted. When you’re training for breeders, black type is what you’re after. I think she’s well on the way to achieving that goal. She’s always had that little bit of X-factor. She’s regally bred.”

Cote D’Or is out of Our Echezeaux (NZ) (Zabeel), the dam of stakes winners Dolmabache (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) and Pure Elegance (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice). She is also a three-quarter sister to Romanee Conti (NZ) (Sir Tristram), a multiple stakes winner and the dam of Caulfield and Melbourne Cup heroine Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm).

Cote D’Or comes from one of Pencarrow’s finest families, with Our Echezeaux being a sister to Grand Echezeaux (NZ) – a Group One winner herself, and the dam of Group One winner and top sire Darci Brahma (NZ) (Danehill), as well as the multiple stakes winner Burgundy (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) and stakes-placed Saperavi (NZ) (Stravinsky).

Our Echezeaux is a three-quarter sister to Romanee Conti (NZ) (Sir Tristram) another high-class racemare who is the dam of champion mare Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm). Ethereal is the granddam of the recent Group 3 winner Eleonora (NZ) (Makfi).