Xanadu rewarded at Te Aroha

Xanadu (NZ) laid to rest past frustrations with a flawless performance in the G1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes on Saturday.

Good things come to those who wait and, after five previous minors at the elite level, the Matamata mare was finally rewarded on the big stage at Te Aroha.

Xanadu (4m Elusive City – Forest Dream by Forest Glow) had been placed in the 2012 Breeders’ Stakes and followed up this season with minors in the Makfi Challenge, Windsor Park Plate, Telegraph Hcp and Waikato Sprint.

Trainers Ken and Bev Kelso will seriously consider a trip to Sydney for either the G1 Doncaster Handicap at Randwick on April 20 or the G2 Emancipation Stakes a week later.  “She did deserve to win a Group 1 and the monkey’s off her back,” Bev Kelso said.  “It’s a big thrill for us and the connections.”

Also sharing the Group 1 glory was regular rider Michael Coleman who allowed the mare to settle at the tail of the field before putting it to bed with a superior sprint in the closing stages.   “She thoroughly deserved it and she was always travelling sweetly in the ground,” Coleman said.  “When she kicked the extension was amazing.  She really is a classy mare.”

Xanadu had over a length to spare at the post from Twilight Granita (Iffraaj), Diademe (Savabeel) and Amberio (Captain Rio).  She is the second G1 winner by former Haunui Farm shuttler Elusive City (Elusive Quality) following 2009 French 2000 Guineas winner Elusive Wave.

Xanadu’s owners John Gilbert and his son Mike bought her privately from Little Avondale Stud.  She is the sixth and final foal from Forest Dream who only got as far as a maiden win at Gatton.

Second-dam India’s Dream (Western Symphony) was a G1 winner of the 1991 Western Australian Oaks.