Champion European sire Montjeu has left a number of classy stayers from his sojourn at stud in New Zealand including progressive mare Marea Alta (5m Montjeu x Semper Fidelis, by Grosvenor) , who won her first stakes race on Saturday when taking out the Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup at Te Rapa.
Trained at Wanganui by Alexander Fieldes, Marea Alta had won her last three starts coming into this tougher assignment so was in top form, her previous win under a massive 68 kg.
Despite the rise in class on her previous wins, she relished the drop down to just 53 kg on her back and powered home to win the 2100 metre event by the best part of a length, her overall record five wins from 18 starts.
Not offered at auction, Marea Alta is the first stakes-winner for former handy stayer Semper Fidelis, a Group II winning daughter of Grosvenor from the family of Group I winners Spyglass and Iron Horse.
She is the 92nd stakes-winner for Montjeu, who has had a big year in the Northern Hemisphere where he is the sire of this year’s English derby winner Pour Moi.