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Culminate Wins NZ Auckland Breeders Stakes
Former Westbury Stud shuttler Elnadim (Danzig-Elle Seule, by Exclusive Native) added a NZ group success when favoured 6YO mare Culminate (Elnadim-Solstice, by Marceau) gained the decision in a 3-way photo-finish to the NZ$110,000 weight-for-age Gr2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1400m) for fillies & mares at Pukekohe, after finishing 3rd in this race last year. Culminate (also ridden by Leith Innes for trainer Stephen McKee) scored by a half-head from 5YO mare Ruud Van Slaats (Van Nistelrooy-Quintilla, by Danehill) with a further long-neck to 4YO mare Scarlet Vanhara (Van Nistelrooy-Fiddle De De, by Palace Music). Culminate now has 10 wins (also including February’s Gr1 Otaki-Maori over 1600m at Otaki & January's Gr2 Rich Hill Mile over 1600m at Ellerslie) & 13 placings (including October’s Listed Postponed Classic over 1400m at Hawera, April’s Gr2 Travis Stakes over 2000m at Te Rapa, March’s Gr1 Coolmore Classic over 1500m at Rosehill & January’s Gr1 Thorndon Mile over 1600m at Trentham, plus 2008's Gr1 Easter Handicap over 1600m at Ellerslie, Gr1 NZB Breeders' Stakes over 1600m at Te Aroha, Gr2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes over 1400m at Pukekohe, Gr2 Japan-NZ International Trophy over 1600m at Tauranga, Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes over 1600m at Ellerslie & Listed Ingham-Sears BOP Stakes over 1400m at Tauranga) from 28 starts for NZ$699,130 earnings.