Maiden Win for Lilikoi (NZ)

Maiden Win for Lilikoi (NZ)

Talented filly Lilikoi (NZ) (Charm Spirit) began her three-year-old season on the perfect note with a victory in Pencarrow colours in Friday’s $10,000 Celebrating Melody Belle (1200m) at Taupo.

Sixth and fourth in her two appearances last season, Lilikoi had warmed up for her new campaign with a trial at Te Rapa in late August.

She was the $2.80 favourite for Friday’s race, and after sitting in fifth spot down the back straight, she moved up behind the leaders down the side of the course.

Angled into clear air in the straight by jockey Michael McNab, Lilikoi quickened smartly and raced to the lead. She then held out a late challenge by Sahalainn (NZ) (Savabeel) to win by a head.

The Jamie Richards-trained Lilikoi holds a nomination for the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 16.

Lilikoi was bred by Pencarrow Thoroughbreds Ltd and is raced by Sir Peter Vela. She is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Barbadine, which makes her a half-sister to another winning member of the Pencarrow Racing team, Badea (NZ) (Darci Brahma).

Second dam Damson (Entrepreneur) was the champion two-year-old filly in Ireland in 2004, winning the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. She is the dam of six winners, including Group Two winner Requinto (Dansili) and multiple stakes placegetter Independence Day (Dansili).