The Kelt Capital Stakes is New Zealand’s richest race. This year it was worth NZ$2 million (US$1.5 million) and was brilliantly won by a mare headed to Australia to contest the AUS$3 million (US$2.7 million) Caulfield Cup over 12 furlongs later this month.
Princess Coup has raced her way into Caulfield Cup contention after her slashing come-from-behind win in the Kelt Capital Stakes at Hastings. It was a commanding performance in which she beat the best horses in New Zealand after giving them all a start.
Her connections are particularly excited that the 10-furlong Kelt Capital was a tad too short for her. “Wait until she hits her straps over the Caulfield Cup distance,” said her trainer, Mark Walker.
Earlier this year Princess Coup absolutely destroyed her age classic test, winning the New Zealand Oaks (gr. I) over 12 furlongs by nearly five lengths.
In a dynamic performance, the beautifully-bred filly rattled home from near last on the home turn to grab star gallopers J'adane, Magic Cape and warm favorite Seachange near the line. Seachange had brilliantly won her past two starts at group I level and is also headed to Australia for the Cox Plate.
Raced by Bromley Bloodstock and Ray Coupland after being purchased by the astute horse buyer David Ellis for AUS$260,000 at the 2005 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale, Princess Coup is now one of the most valuable mares in the Southern Hemisphere. The win took her prize money to NZ$1,605,382 (US$1,225,000).
Walker confirmed the mare will be flown to Australia to contest the Caulfield Cup in two weeks. Princess Coup's record now reads out at nine wins and five minor placings from just 20 starts.
A daughter of Encosta de Lago and from the stakes-winning Sovereign Red mare Stoneyfell Road, Princess Coup was bred by Mark Kelly's Ingenue Breeding Syndicate and friend Brenton Wise in South Australia.
Last season, Princess Coup was named New Zealand's Champion 3-Year-Old and also that country's Filly of the Year.