With a powerful come-from-behind performance at Te Rapa on Saturday, Supera (NZ) (Savabeel) became the third $100,000 Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) winner in the last eight years for the blue and white hoops of Pencarrow.
Rasa Lila (NZ) (Darci Brahma) won the prestigious fillies and mares’ race in 2016, while Supera’s relative Dolmabache (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) won it in 2012.
Supera is the least experienced of the trio, winning the Travis in just the 13th start of her career. It was her sixth win and her second at stakes level, having won the Group 3 Anniversary (1600m) at Trentham in January. She was a strong-finishing second in the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) in her most recent start.
The step up to 2000 metres on Saturday was ideal. Michael Coleman was happy for Supera to settle in the back half of the field as the Group 1 winner Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel) set a genuine pace in front.
Coleman unleashed Supera down the centre of the track in the straight, dashing past Nicoletta and the defending Travis Stakes champion Our Abbadean (NZ) (Lookin At Lucky). Her finishing burst carried her out of the reach of the late-finishing Jessiegee (NZ) (Alamosa), winning by a length and three-quarters.
“She was further back than what we initially thought she would be, but she was nice and relaxed and lobbing along,” co-trainer Ken Kelso said.
“There was a bit of speed in the race, so we always thought if she was at her best, she would get over the top of them.
“She’s very special. I’ve had a number of good mares over the years, and she’s right up there with them.
“She’s come a long way this season, so she can have a nice break now and we’ll bring her back and set her for something in the spring.”
Supera has now had 13 starts for six wins, three placings and $182,625 in prize-money for owner-breeder Sir Peter Vela.
Supera is out of Sopra Tutto (NZ) (Van Nistelrooy), who is the dam of four winners from five foals to race. The best of those to date has been Eleonora (NZ) (Makfi), who won two Group 3 races and placed in the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m).
The second dam is the champion mare Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm) who earned more than $4.7 million with Group 1 victories in the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, BMW and Queensland Oaks.
Her dam, the top-class Romanee Conti (NZ) (Sir Tristram), is a three-quarter sister to the Group 1 winner and star broodmare Grand Echezeaux (NZ) (Zabeel), along with Dolmabache’s dam Our Echezeaux (NZ) (Zabeel).