THIS year’s Group 1 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign has a golden background. In fact, her dam was bred and reared on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
A $20,000 purchase at last year’s Inglis Classic yearling sale in Sydney, She Will Reign is by Manhattan Rain from the Charge Forward mare Courgette.
Although foaled in NSW, Courgette was bred and reared at Bellagio Lodge – a former boutique stud established by Gold Coast builder Paul Sweeney at Tallebudgera. Courgette is from the Marscay mare Our Farm Girl who was bought by Sweeney from John Singleton’s Strawberry Hill Farm for $80,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
Although unraced, Our Farm Girl is a sister to Gimcrack Stakes (Listed, 1000m) winner Millie (Marscay) and a half-sister to Listed winner Touch Of Sun (Snippets). All are from the Cheraw (Ire) mare Sunshine Sally who raced in Singleton’s colours to win the Group 2 Reisling Slipper Trial at Rosehill and run second in the Group 1 AJC Oaks. Sweeney subsequently sold Our Farm Girl in foal to Choisir for $19,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions National Broodmare sale with the resultant filly foal Solar Choice winning seven races.
Having being reared at Bellagio Lodge, Courgette was sent as a yearling filly to Tooloonganvale Stud, Scone – where she was foaled – to be prepared for the 2009 Inglis Premier yearling sale in Melbourne. There she caught the attention of prominent Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan who paid $25,000 for her and later syndicated the filly to a group of owners which included Bellagio Lodge manager Wayne Pepper.
Under Ryan’s guidance, Courgette won two races at Canterbury and Kembla Grange before being onsold to a syndicate that included Scott Darby – head of racehorse syndication company Darby Racing – and Gary Bachell. Courgette then moved to central Queensland where she had two unplaced starts at Mackay and Rockhampton for Stuart Kendrick before having another change of stables moving to Terry Robinson at Shoalhaven Heads, NSW. However, a further two unplaced starts at Canberra resulted in her retirement from the track for future broodmare duties.
With Gary Bachell listed as the owner, Courgette was sent to Encosta De Lago’s Group 1 winning son Manhattan Rain – a half-brother to champion racehorse and sire Redoute’s Choice –for her first mating with the resultant filly foal prepared for last year’s Inglis Classic yearling sale in Sydney. Keen to maintain the association with Courgette, Darby Racing bought the filly for $20,000 with the syndicate owners again including her breeder Gary Bachell.
Courgette has a Shamus Award (Snitzel) yearling filly and a Time For War (Snitzel) colt born on October 4 last year. She was covered again on October 28 by Time For War, who stood at Kitchwin Hills for two seasons before dying last December. The Shamus Award filly will be offered at the forthcoming Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale
Manhattan Rain (Encosta De Lago), who will stand for the first time at Blue Gum Farm in Victoria in 2017, has produced nine individual stakes winners including Group 1 winners She Will Reign and the South African-raced Whiskey Baron
SYDNEY racehorse syndicator Scott Darby has an eye for fast fillies.
In 2015 he spent $10,000 at the Inglis Classic for an All American/Condesaar filly Yankee Rose who ran second in last year’s Golden Slipper behind Capitalist prior to winning the Group 1 ARC Sires Produce (1400m) at Randwick. Then as a spring 3YO, Yankee Rose won the Group 1 ARC Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick and followed-up with a third 8.8 lengths behind the world’s champion turf racehorse Winx in Australia’s premier weight-for-age race – the Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2020m) at Moonee Valley.
Proving he was not a ‘one trick pony’, Darby went one better at last year’s Classic sale paying $20,000 for a Manhattan Rain/Courgette filly. Named She Will Reign, the filly gave a dominant display to win last Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on a heavy track at Rosehill.
Trained at Warwick Farm by Gary Portelli, She Will Reign has now won four of her five starts – three of them in stakes company – and the Golden Slipper victory takes her prize money to $2,555,150. In fact, the two fillies She Will Reign and Yankee Rose which cost a combined $30,000 have now accumulated almost $4.7 million prizemoney.
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