Schiaparelli, currently the leading active British-based National Hunt sire, was represented by a new black-type winner on Saturday when his daughter Fonzerelli won the Listed Virgin Bet Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster.
The 6-year-old came into the race in great form having won her previous start only a week earlier at Newcastle. The winner of a maiden point-to-point as a four-year-old Fonzerelli has never been out of the first four in her seven starts under rules, and has twice finished runner-up, in a bumper and over hurdles for trainer Rebecca Menzies.
“We’ve always though plenty of her and when she got beaten in her bumper we were a bit disappointed,” said Menzies. “She’s an out-and-out jumper and she won well last Saturday but it was throwing her in at the deep end today in this. I hoped that three miles would be the making of her. She’s just an amazing mare. She’s big, she has a great attitude. She just has everything, she’s absolutely gorgeous.”
Bred by Coisdeel Bloodstock from the Cadoudal mare Cadoutene, Fonzerelli runs in the colours of Graham and Christine Seward, and she may well head next to the EBF mares’ novices’ hurdle final at Newbury in April.
Schiaparelli’s Cheltenham Festival-winning daughter Indefatigable is set to return to Prestbury Park for either the G1 Mares’ Hurdle or G1 Stayers’ Hurdle, while Schiehallion Munro and De Young Warrior also hold entries for the Festival.