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Eleonora Wins Gr3 Ethereal Stakes
At Caulfield in Melbourne on Saturday, Westbury Stud's three-time Gr1-winning shuttle stallion Makfi (Dubawi-Dhelaal, by Green Desert) added a Group success when 3YO New Zealand-bred filly Eleonora (Makfi-Sopra Tutto, by Van Nistelrooy) scored by 1.25 lengths for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the $150,000 Gr3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Tiamo Grace (Monaco Consul-Sicile, by Anabaa) & Savvan (Savabeel-Ruud Van Slaats, by Van Nistelrooy). There could hardly have been a more fitting winner of the Ethereal Stakes as Eleonora is in fact a granddaughter of the former champion New Zealand mare, who etched her name into racing folklore when becoming just the 11th horse in history to claim the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double in 2001. Eleonora, who was a $60,000 purchase by Bruce Perry Bloodstock on behalf of owner Lib Petagna at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, improved her record to 2 wins and 4 placings (including the Listed ARC Champagne Stakes) from 7 starts for $118,160 earnings. Eleonora is now the $6.50 third favourite for the Gr1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on Thursday, 3 November. "To win the Ethereal Stakes, her grand dam is Ethereal so its a pretty special moment," co-trainer Andrew Forsman told racing.com. "That was a great Oaks trial. The Oaks has been her long term aim, that's why we brought her over here."