Giant filly Self Obsession showed she has a heart to match her imposing frame when she triumphed in a torrid finish to the Group 2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa.
The Jamie Richards-trained three-year-old had things all her own way out in front in the early stages for rider Michael McNab before being joined by maiden galloper Sadler’s Chick at the 1200m.
McNab slipped the filly more rein approaching the home bend as she was besieged by several rivals swooping around her outer, whilst eventual runner-up Glory Bound snuck through on her inside.
Faced with a dogfight over the final 300m Self Obsession refused to shirk the task and gained the ascendancy in the final 50m to win by a head with Achieve and Mustang Valley fighting out third and fourth, albeit three lengths in arrears at the winning post.
It was the third win from four starts and a second Group Two victory in succession for Self Obsession after she took out the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s day, at her most recent start.
“She is a big imposing sort of filly who is a genuine stayer that can roll along in front and sustain that speed,” Richards said.
“She hasn’t got a turn of foot, but she just keeps going and we’re very proud of her.”
Born and raised at Hallmark Stud, Self Obsession is owned by David Price, a noted form analyst and bloodstock trader based in Hong Kong, who also bred the filly by Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking.
She is out of the O’Reilly mare Mawaakib, who won on debut as a juvenile for David Hayes at Sandown and is in turn out of the Group Three placed mare My Hangover.
Richards has the filly set for a tilt at the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in March, with the 2400m of the race looking right up her alley.
“She was a little bit vulnerable with her fitness today, but she is going to stay all day,” he said.
“She has a little bit of improvement to come with either the Lowland (Group 2, 2100m) or the Sunline Vase (Group 3, 2100m) her next target before heading down to Trentham.
“Michael gave her a lovely ride today, so thanks to him and the team at home who are all doing a great job at a busy time.”
McNab makes no bones about the regard he has for Self Obsession and was all smiles after dismounting in the Te Rapa birdcage.
“She just doesn’t let you down,” he said.
“She was sharp out of the gates and put herself right there (on the pace).
“She isn’t a sprinter, but she winds up to such a really good speed where they just can’t get to her.
“She is an absolute darling.”
The win provided Self Obsession with a further eight points in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title race, with her tally of 16 placing her second behind stablemate Belle En Rouge (19) with three races left in the 11-race series that culminates with the New Zealand Oaks on 19 March.
Belle En Rouge started a warm +170 favourite in the race but never looked to be travelling in the tricky ground and finished a well beaten sixth.
The win made it three on the day for Richards who had earlier produced Lightning Field to win over 1200m before two-year-old filly Maven Belle kept her unbeaten record intact when taking out the Group 3 Platinum Homes 2YO Classic (1200m).