Star Savabeel Filly Looks to Extend NZB Filly Series Lead

Media Release - Friday March 5

Standout filly Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel) tops the 2020-21 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series table, and a trip to Ellerslie for Sunday’s $70,000 Group Three McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) gives her the chance to add to her advantage. 

Amarelinha was a $300,000 purchase by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis at Karaka 2019, and she is trained by Jamie Richards for the Te Akau Hopskip’n’jump Syndicate.

Amarelinha runs on Sunday.

The Savabeel filly has racked up a Series-leading 16 points on the Filly of the Year Series table through brilliant victories in the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and Group Two David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m).


In between those two outstanding performances, Amarelinha was a desperately close second in a thrilling clash with Aegon (NZ) (Sacred Falls) in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie. Aegon is now undefeated in five starts, having carried his winning streak across the Tasman with a dominant win in the Group Two Hobartville Stakes (1400m) on his Australian debut.

Amarelinha is the clear headline act in Sunday’s Sunline Vase, which is worth 6 points to the winner, 3 points for second and 1.5 points for third.

Another victory on Sunday would lift Amarelinha to 22 points, with Richards then aiming her towards the grand finale – the Group One Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 20.

But the field for Sunday’s Sunline Vase features more than one high-quality filly.

Needle and Thread (Makfi) has earned 10 Filly of the Year points with an impressive campaign in her own right, winning the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) and placing in the David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic. A win on Sunday, with Amarelinha outside the placings, would move her into an equal Series lead.

Slave to Love (NZ) (Savabeel) produced a strong finish for second behind Amarelinha in the David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic last start, collecting her first 4 points in the Filly of the Year Series.

Ruakaka-trained Spine Tingle (NZ) (Super Easy) has yet to contest a Filly of the Year Series race, but she was a brilliant last-start stakes winner in the Listed Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth.

The McKee Family Sunline Vase will be run as Race 8 at on Sunday, with a start time of 4:22pm. If the race meeting is unable to be held at Ellerslie due to the Covid-19 Alert Level in Auckland, the meeting will instead be staged at Hastings.

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