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Lasarla wins the NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes

The sheer delight of winning good races is always worth celebrating and Clyde and Pat Buckingham certainly enjoyed Lasarla's upset win in Saturday's Group Two NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.

The Karaka couple, who race the daughter of Rip van Winkle under their Emblem Ltd banner, were not lacking in confidence going into the 1400m feature at Pukekohe.

"We had taken an indication from her last start second in Te Rapa [behind I Am Poppy] and I suppose we were hoping for a place," Clyde Buckingham said, after admitting they were still recovering from post-race celebrations.

"We had hoped she would win at Te Rapa and that would have seen her get into the Breeders' but as it was we got a scratching which saw us make the field."

Had the smart judges been on their game at the NZ Bloodstock 2014 Select sale session Lasarla may well have been carrying colours other than the Buckingham's but the filly was passed at $20,000 and returned home.

Her dam is the Danehill mare Imco Main, the winner of eight races in Italy, and presently the dam of seven winners. In addition to Lasarla, Imco Main has also left the stakes winning Black Minnaloushe gelding Changing Eyes, the winner of 10 races in Australia, he was also Group Three placed.

Lasarla's second dam is the Darshaan mare Miss Darimda who raced once and is a half-sister to three stakes performers including Top Waltz, winner of the Gr.2 Longchamp Prix Hocquart.

Despite having imported Imco Main, as part of his passion for European families, Buckingham no longer owns the mare. "We gave the mare away to Mapperley Stud, and she has recently foaled to He's Remarkable," he said.

She was one of a number of mares they have quit recently - "we kept getting fillies, and you know how hard they are to sell" - so their broodmare band which usually stands at around six or seven is now down to three.

The beginnings of the broodmare band stemmed - as many good things do - from a lunchtime conversation. Buckingham was seated alongside then BBA agent Joss Collins and a conversation ensued about what would be the best way to go about importing fillies from some nice European families.

"I've always like European families, I never considered American," Buckingham explained.

The upshot of the lunchtime encounter was his first imported mare Bold Faith.

"She was a daughter of Warning and went to Anabaa and we sold the colt for $300,000 and that kicked us off," he said.

Another of the those imported mares was Quinta Special (by Spectrum) who left the horse Buckingham labels as the best they have bred, the VRC Derby winner Sangster.

While there is little argument that Sangster deserves that mantle at this stage Buckingham is holding high hopes for Lasarla in her future racing.

"She is such a different type from the others, the mare is a short arse and quite long, Lasarla is the nicest looking of her offspring and a very athletic type," he said.

"We are probably going to look towards the 1600m Fillies and Mares race at Te Rapa [Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes, December 10] with her," he said. "We are rapt, as you can imagine." - NZ Racing Desk