Costa Viva Wins New Zealand Thousand Guineas

Encosta de Lago filly upstages favored Bounding to win the classic at Riccarton Park.

Costa Viva turned the tables on luckless favorite Bounding with a three-quarter-length win in the New Zealand Bloodstock One Thousand Guineas (NZ-I) Nov. 16 at Riccarton Park.

Seeking to extend a three-race win streak, including her victory over Costa Viva in the Hawkes Bay Breeders Gold Trial Stakes (NZ-III) in September, Bounding had problems in the starting gate and had to undergo a veterinary inspection before she could start. Caught three wide throughout the 1,600-meter (about one mile) classic as Costa Viva relaxed off the brisk early pace, Bounding moved to challenge for the lead nearing the home turn.

The winner was ready to roll under Leith Innes, however, and the filly uncoiled a powerful rally to edge past with 250 meters remaining and held on for the victory.

Bounding held for second, outfinishing Costa Viva’s stablemate Spellbinder, who checked in third after racing with the frontrunners.
Trained by Jason Bridgman for Dave and Nicky Hurst, Dianne Ford, and Ray and Jan Batten, Costa Viva covered the distance in 1:35.42 on a track rated as good.
“The race today panned out well for her with a bit of early tempo,” Bridgman told New Zealand’s The Informant about the Australian-bred Encosta de Lago filly. “That set her up for the last shot and she made the most of the opportunity presented.”
After winning her career debut in August, Costa Viva finished second, three-quarters of a length behind Bounding in the Gold Trial. She rebounded to tally her first stakes win in the John Grigg Ray Coupland Oct. 19 in her previous start. 
With the Guineas triumph, the filly has three wins and a second from four career stars. She was a $100,000 ($97,590 in United States funds) purchase out of the Tyreel Stud consignment by New Zealand bloodstock agent David Ellis at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale.
Costa Viva is the 20th group I winner for Coolmore’s elite Australian sire Encosta de Lago, a 20-year-old son of Fairy King. She is the first starter out of the stakes-winning Bel Esprit mare Vivacious Spirit, who was a multiple group-placed in Australia.