IN Racing
Class filly captures Taranaki juvenile feature
Captured by Love showed plenty of courage to retain her unbeaten record when taking out the Gr.3 Platinum Homes New Plymouth Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m).
Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | February 03, 2024
Kevin Robertson

Despite clearly not enjoying the testing underfoot conditions on offer at New Plymouth, exciting juvenile filly Captured by Love showed plenty of courage to retain her unbeaten record when taking out the Gr.3 Platinum Homes New Plymouth Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m).

The two-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon had cantered home in a three-horse field at Tauherenikau on debut before blitzing a handy field in the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham prior to Christmas.

Although eligible for the 2024 Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic (1200m) courtesy of being purchased for A$525,000 by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis at the 2023 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson resisted that temptation in favour of a short break before her resumption on Saturday.

Heavily supported as the $1.40 race favourite Captured By Love made a sharp beginning in the hands of Opie Bosson to trail pacemaker Chicago Jack who set up a solid tempo out in front.

Persistent rain in the previous 24-hours had reduced the track to a Heavy8 status with Bosson niggling at his charge to try and get her up on the bit approaching the home turn as she struggled in the tricky going.

Captured By Love showed all her class as she picked herself up to make her challenge at the 200m, snatching the lead before holding out a late run from debutant Love Poem to claim the major spoils and her third victory in succession.

Walker wasn’t overly confident the filly would handle the heavy surface but took some heart from what he had heard in prior races.

“I went down and stood down by the rail and listened to the horses going to the start and I thought she would struggle a little but might just get away with the way the track was,” Walker said.

“As it turned out she was really battling most of the way but she has so much heart and is very tough.

“She’s a real fighter and that was a superb effort to stick on the way she did.”

Walker is now eyeing further black-type challenges for the filly including a prized home-track feature later in the month.

“The immediate target is the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m) at home towards the end of the month (24 February),” he said.

“From there the Sistema Sakes (Gr.1, 1200m) a fortnight later will be next and then we will reassess after that.

“The beauty is whatever she is doing now, she will only get better as I think we will see her best next season.

“Once she gets up to a mile she is going to be well-suited as she is such a lovely big, scopey filly who really covers the ground.”

Raced by the Te Akau 2023 Magic Fillies' Breeding Syndicate, the filly is the first foal of two-race winning mare Moldova and features Australian stakes winner Savvy Nature and Addictive Nature in

her extended pedigree along with 2017 Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner Hasahalo. 

Captured By Love Te Akau Opie Bosson