Third in last year's Windsor Park Plate (NZ-I), Block Partnership's Xanadu took this year's edition in a clear victory over two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa Sept. 21 at Hastings.
The 5-year-old Elusive City
mare won by a convincing 1 3/4 lengths and covered 1,600 meters (about one mile) in 1:35.60 under Michael Coleman. She bounced back from her 10th-place finish behind winner Survived
in the Hawkes Bay Makfi Challenge Stakes (NZ-I) Aug. 31 at Hastings.
Survived, a diminutive Zed gelding sent off the 3-1 favorite off that victory, finished a disappointing ninth.
Xanadu won at 8.40-1 odds in the 12-horse field. Trained by Ken and Bev Kelso, she added a second group I win to her record of six wins, four seconds, and three thirds from 19 career starts. In April, she captured the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (NZ-I) at Te Aroha,
Nashville finished a half-length behind Mufhasa in a photo for third with 3.80-1 second favorite Final Touch.
Bred in New Zealand by Little Avondale Trust, Xanadu is out of the Forest Glow mare Forest Dream. Her second dam is Australian group I winner India's Dream.
Sire Elusive City was a French group I winner and Europe's leading first-crop sire of 2008. The 13-year-old Kentucky-bred from the first crop of Elusive Quality launched his stallion career in New Zealand and is now based in France at Haras d'Etreham.