Venus sets record in Nevele R win

03:36 AM 11 May 2014 NZST
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Freakish filly: Venus Serena - set a NZ record when winning the Nevele R Fillies Final
Venus Serena

If she wasn’t there already, Venus Serena rocketed herself into the status of superstar today at Addington.

The brilliant three-year-old filly notched up the fifth Group One of her career this afternoon (Saturday) at Addington when winning the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies final in New Zealand record time – the fourth of its kind in her career.

And the fun hasn’t stopped yet.

Such is the domination of the Geoff Dunn-trained filly that she will go out a red-hot favourite in the remaining two Group One battles for her age group and sex this season.

The first of those will come as soon as next week when Venus Serena returns to Addington to tackle the New Zealand Oaks.

Then it is on to Cambridge for a tilt at becoming a dual Jewels winner on May 31.

And Dunn had a warning for those who will take their place in the Oaks next week.

“She has only had a workout in between her last run and today, so you would like to think she will get better,’’ he said.

Venus Serena lowered the NZ record held by champion three-year-old filly Carabella when stopping the clock at a blistering 2.19.1 – 0.6 seconds inside Carabella’s time.

After burning out of the gate from her handy draw, Venus Serena was given little respite throughout the 1950 metre event but still had the audacity to run away from her opponents at the top of the straight.

Things might have got a little interesting had North Island filly, Ideal Belle not galloped rounding the final bend when in the trail though.

The Barry Purdon-trained runner managed to pick herself up off the canvas and put the issue to Venus Serena, but John Dunn who was sitting in the bike of the winner quickly eliminated any concerns she might have been beaten had the incident occurred.

“She fights like a tiger when another horse comes up to her,'' he said.

“When she got clear she pretty much knocked off but when Zac came up on my inside she grabbed the bit again.

“It was a pretty impressive performance considering she pulled the whole way.

“She was very keen today.’’

The win gave John Dunn his second Group One victory in less than 24 hours following the victory of Elios in the New Zealand Messenger at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

Owned by Bob and Jenny Sandford along with Geoff Dunn – Venus Serena has now won 13 of her 18 career starts and is closing in on $600,000 in stakes and with $225,000 left to race for this season that figure should improve noticeably over the next month.

Ideal Belle lost no admirers with her second placing while Rocknroll Arden emerged out of the pack to finish in third position.

By Matt Markham (Harness Racing New Zealand)

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