Lilikoi (NZ) Scoops G3 Eulogy

In her first start at stakes level, Lilikoi (NZ) (Charm Spirit) scored a brilliant victory in Saturday’s $70,000 Group 3 LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni – a race that has been very special for owner-breeder Sir Peter Vela.

The Pencarrow filly had shown bright promise through this spring, and trainer Jamie Richards decided that she was ready for her first black-type assignment.

She responded with an outstanding performance, settling in fourth place before showing a quality turn of foot in the home straight. With Rosie Myers in the saddle, she raced to the lead and powered clear to win by a length and three-quarters.

Lilikoi has now had six starts for two wins, two placings and $54,375 in prize-money.

“Mark Walker trained Insouciant (NZ) (Keeper) to win this race for us, and Laurie Laxon won it for us with Clear Rose (NZ) (Deputy Governor).

“It’s always been a good race, and possibly not the strongest edition this year, but there were some lovely fillies and you’ve still got to do the job to win it. Rosie (Myers) rode her really well.

“It was a really nice effort. Well trained, well prepared, well planned, and everything you look forward to when you give a filly with that pedigree to a trainer like Jamie (Richards). He did a magnificent job. His planning was meticulous. He had that race picked out for her a long way out and I was delighted for him to see it come to fruition.”

Lilikoi is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Barbadine, which makes her a half-sister to fellow Pencarrow winners Granadilla(NZ) (Encosta de Lago) and 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 2 winner Requinto (Dansili) and multiple stakes placegetter Independence Day (Dansili).

“Barbadine, I bought as a yearling and I raced her in Ireland,” Sir Peter said. “A beautifully bred filly, she was a very nice racehorse and I was delighted to get her home to New Zealand and breed from her. And it seems that Charm Spirit has been the answer.

“This filly is bred to go two miles, so distance shouldn’t be a problem, and the fact that she’s got a turn of foot is exciting and a real asset.”