Lizzie upsets them in the Bonecrusher Stakes
Promising mare Lizzie L’Amour upset the applecart when she out-stayed her rivals to snare the Gr. 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie.
The rugged Zabeel four-year-old overcame a torrid beginning that saw her buffeted among runners as riders jostled for a handy position in the early stages of the contest.
|Lorna Moore pictured right (in hat) leads in Lizzie L'Amour
Photo: Trish Dunell
That initial melee ended up playing in the mare’s favour as the field opened up, allowing rider Matt Cameron to slot her into a handy position just ahead of midfield.
In a muddling run race, Cameron bided his time before asking his charge to swoop into contention on the point of the home turn.
Punters who had backed multiple Group One winner Kawi into a $1.75 favourite were giggling at this stage as the Taranaki visitor was trucking in the trail and just needed space to make his final challenge. Grins turned to groans, however, as the gaps closed and left the favourite in a pocket that eventually saw him see daylight when the race was all but over.
By then Lizzie L’Amour had swept to the lead with former Brisbane Cup winner Benzini in hot pursuit. The pair settled down to a knock-em down, drag-em out struggle that saw the mare prevail by a bare half head at the line from Benzini with Sound Proposition nabbing third from Consensus and Kawi.
An overjoyed Lorna Moore who bred and co-owns the mare with husband Gary was finding it hard to take in what her star performer had just achieved.
“This is unbelievable and I’m just so thrilled,” she said.
“It’s not only a Group One for us and Lizzie, but it’s also for Zabeel who was tied with his sire Sir Tristram for individual Group One winners up until now so this one is for him as well.
“I would have been happy to just run a place but this means everything to a small breeder.”
Co-trainer Andrew Forsman was also sporting a wide smile after the victory.
“It was a very good effort as they went hard at it leaving the straight the first time and it got quite messy,” he said.
“It actually panned out alright as they went a lot harder than we thought which suited her as she’s a real staying mare.
“It became a staying test with two of the better ones fighting it out.”
Forsman admitted the stable had been confident of a good performance.
“We knew she was good enough, it was really a matter of whether she was ready this time in or was it going to be in her next preparation,” he said.
“Thankfully she got the job done and is a Group One winner now. She’s got it all ahead of her so now it’s a matter of finding the right distance for her as if she can get to 2400 metres then a Caulfield Cup could be a spring target for her.”
Lizzie L’Amour joins a star-studded cast on the race’s honour roll including Silent Achiever, Ocean Park, Xcellent, La Mer, Balmerino and the mighty Bonecrusher. who won it on two separate occasions. – NZ Racing Desk