New SW Epaulette- Epee Beel Takes Listed Insurance Stakes

Media Release - Saturday April 13

Underrated filly Epee Beel claimed her first career stakes victory in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, and in doing so brought up a special milestone for co-trainer Michael Pitman as she became winner number 2000 in New Zealand for the Riccarton maestro.

The three-year-old daughter of Epaulette had been a model of consistency of late without standing on the top step of the podium, but she delivered when it mattered for Pitman and son Matthew as she fought off the challenges of Cambridge visitor Nepheti and local filly Quintabelle to deliver her second career victory.

Michael Pitman leads his 2000th winner back to scale in Epee Beel, winner of the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.  Photo: Ajay Berry (RIS)

Rider Tina Comignaghi had Epee Beel beautifully situated outside pacemaker Caffeinated before taking the lead with 300m to run. The filly fought like a tiger over the closing stages to deny her challengers as she scored by a neat length at the line.

Pitman was thrilled to see the filly win who he believes will only improve as she gets over more ground.


“She’s a very nice filly who we bought her off for $5,000,” Pitman said.

“We didn’t have any owners for her, but I had people come in to form a syndicate who have really supported me over the years, so to get this result today is very satisfying for a number of reasons.

“Snow Thomas is one of the main players in the syndicate and he raced Just Tommy with me many years ago.

“It takes a good horse to do what she has today and in the manner in which she did it and we can’t wait to see her go over further.

“We will line her up next week in the Warstep Stakes (Listed, 2000m) and I think she will be even stronger.”

Pitman started the day on 1998 New Zealand winners and quickly added win 1999 when Movie Girl and Comignaghi bolted home in the first event on the card. Epee Beel took him to the 2000 mark which places him second on New Zealand’s all-time list behind Graeme Rogerson.

The Pitman family already has more than 2,000 victories to its name, reaching that milestone in March of 2022. But 93 of those wins came when Pitman was based in Ballarat in the 1990s and his wife Diane took over the Riccarton stable.

“A long time ago Pat Finnegan, who kept all the records for New Zealand racing, told me I was close to breaking the South Island record for wins in a season which at the time was 51 so we’ve come a long way since then,” Pitman said.

“We’ve averaged 50 wins a season for forty years which is a hell of a big ask, especially when there were plenty who told me I got my license out of a Weet-bix packet and didn’t deserve it.

“I’ve won three New Zealand premierships and now this so maybe they might even consider me for the Hall Of Fame now.

“Funnily enough back in 1979 I was in hospital with four other blokes after I had lost my leg and was getting an artificial replacement.

“In the same ward was Robert Dunn who had had a bad smash on the harness track.

“He trained his 2000th winner a week ago and we’ve had plenty of talks about it and how good it would be if we could do it at the same time, so to do that today with all my family including the grandkids here makes this very very special.”

Epee Beel is a daughter of the stakes-placed mare Pipi Beel with her great-grandam being the dual Group One winner Nimue while she is also related to Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) winner Coventina Bay. - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

More Reading...
Juvenile Trial Watch – Rosehill
There were eight heats won by juveniles at the Rosehill trials on Tuesday morning including a couple of unraced youngsters by Written Tycoon and Too Darn Hot (GB), plus a very flashy Exceed and Excel colt that looks to have come back in great shape.
NZB Karaka Millions Mega Maiden Series Races Announced
Karaka Million riches are set to be amplified next season, with horses eligible for the lucrative NZB Karaka Millions Series racing for an additional $1m in bonuses.
Can Your 3YO Run a Mile?
Group I racing restricted to three year-olds is complete for this year so we’ve taken a look at the break down of winners and it’s worth noting that of the 19 Group I races for this cohort, 16 of them are run at distances of 1600m or further.
Zoustar Share Sells for $1.3million
A share in Champion sire Zoustar has today become the most expensive stallion share ever sold at public auction in Australia, realising a sale-high $1.3m in the Inglis Digital June (Early) Online Sale.
Million Dollar Colts Battle at Randwick
The 1150m maiden at Randwick on Wednesday for colts and geldings produced a quinella for a couple of million dollar two year-old colts with Braveheart, the $1.3million full brother to King of Sparta, too good for Everybody Rise, $1.4million full brother to Russian Revolution.
Sires With Winners - Wednesday June 12
Here is the full list of 50 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Perfect Debut for $1.3million I Am Invincible Filly
Pedigree watchers and trial watchers have been waiting with bated breath for a while now on the Peter and Snowden trained I Am Invincible filly I Found You who put the writing on the wall last month when beating Group I winning colt Broadsiding in a barrier trial at Randwick.
Invincible Shield Ultra Impresses Gollan
Promising three year-old I Am Invincible colt Invincible Shield failed to place in three starts in good company in Victoria last year including the Group II MVRC Stutt Stakes, but has found a new lease on life since joining the stable of Tony Gollan and powered to an ultra impressive win at Doomben on Wednesday.
New Epaulette SW Adds to Monovale Farm success
Epee Beel’s victory in Saturday’s Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton was a welcome result for breeder Monovale Farm.
One To Watch - Randwick-Kensington
Six well-related 3-year-olds contested the Toyota Forklifts Maiden Plate (1400m) at Randwick-Kensington on Wednesday, resulting in a remarkable finish.