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Prowess displays all her class at Te Rapa

Prowess, who stared the hottest favourite of the day at Te Rapa on Saturday, justified her $1.20 quote when she gave her three-year-old counterparts a complete shellacking in the Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m).


The last start winner of the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), where she defeated horses of the calibre of Wild Night and Legarto, was expected to comfortably account for her rivals despite stepping over 2000m for the first time.

Warren Kennedy is all business as he urges Prowess to victory at Te Rapa
Photo: Trish Dunell

In a display of pure class, the daughter of Proisir sat handy to a steady tempo for rider Warren Kennedy before unleashing her powerful sprint finish in the run home to run out a convincing five length winner from pacemaker Sakura Girl and stablemate Contagious, who had sat outside the leader from the 1200m mark.


In what was no more than a training gallop, Prowess indicated she is right on track for her next assignment which could be the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Te Rapa on March 4.


Co-trainer Robert Wellwood, who prepares the filly in partnership with Roger James, was well satisfied with the performance.


“It was very good as she got on the nickel a little more than she has in the past, but at the end of the day she has put then away easily,” he said.


“Hopefully we can now make some firm decisions on where we go in the future.”


Prowess holds nominations for three upcoming Group One age-group features including the Derby, the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) with Wellwood hesitant to single out just which race she would tackle.


“We will have to speak to Warren, but the Derby is the obvious option as long as she is going to see out a mile and a half,” Wellwood said.


“There are some other great opportunities coming up for fillies and mares over a mile to 2000m, both here and over in Aussie.


“Wherever she goes it will be exciting,”


For his part Kennedy couldn’t have been more impressed with how the winner performed.


“She actually feels like she has gone up a gear,” Kennedy said.


“She is just getting better and better and handled the 2000m as we expected.


“We got over from the wide gate (9) which was Plan A, so I was happy to be one out watching the pace and she powered home when I asked her.


“She is something special and she did it effortlessly today.”


James and Wellwood went to $230,000 to purchase the filly out of Hallmark Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft.


Out of the Don Eduardo mare Donna Marie, Prowess is a half-sister to stakes placed Ajay Tee and has never been unplaced in seven starts having won five of those for stakes earnings in excess of $773,000. – NZ Racing Desk