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Accidental Australian fulfils her potential

With a commanding victory in Saturday's Group One Mudgway Stakes Miss Potential (Dolphin Street-Richfield Rose by Crested Wave) gave her owner-breeder Bill Borrie the matchless thrill of seeing her make the rare journey from near-fatal injury to Group One glory.

Unfortunately for New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing, which has the task of promoting Kiwi-bred bloodstock, Miss Potential was foaled in Australia.

Luckily for us, six of her first seven dams were bred on this side of the Tasman, and the first seven sires who figure in the lower half of her pedigree all stood here. It only takes a small patriotic stretch, and possibly a beer or two, to label her an "accidental Australian". She's really one of ours, after all.

Her sire Dolphin Street cannot be called a success story, despite Miss Potential and two Group One winners in Australia, two-year-old Road To Success and the outstanding sprinter Spinning Hill. They are among only ten stakeswinners Dolphin Street has left so far from 596 foals of racing age (excluding his just-turned southern hemisphere two-year-olds).

In the past six years he's had 221 yearlings offered for public sale in Australasia and 163 have sold for an average of just over $31,000. Only four have made six-figure sums, but those include $500,000 paid for Testa Rossa's since unraced half-brother in 2000, and $400,000 bid in 1999 for the subsequently placed half-sister to Tycoon Lil.

Dolphin Street now stands at Mike Becker's Independent Stallion Station in Victoria at the modest fee of $A5,000. He continues to serve large books of mares there: 100, 85 and 86 in each of the past three seasons.

Miss Potential's immediate female family is distinguished by a high percentage of winners to runners, mostly sired by stallions a long way from the top drawer. Her damsire Crested Wave (champion New Zealand sire in 1991) is an exception, and further back in her pedigree the names of three earlier champion sires, Count Rendered, Balloch and Foxbridge, can also be found.

Richfield Rose won three races and has had five foals to date. Of these, only Miss Potential and the placegetter Rozabeel (by Zabeel) have raced. A three-year-old filly by Umatilla, a two-year-old colt by Magic Of Sydney and a yearling filly by Cullen give their dam a good chance of improving her record.

Miss Potential's second dam, Nottingham Note (by Royal Randwick) was a respectable performer in rural South Island company, winning eight times and getting black type with a placing in the South Island Thoroughbred Stakes at Geraldine. Her five foals to race all won and included a two-year-old stakeswinner Assault Craft (by Beechcraft).

Nottingham Note's half-sister Poppa's Girl did even better at stud, leaving the top-class Hayai (ten wins incl. VATC Caulfield Cup G1 and three other Group One races), his full-brother G3 Cylai and SW McGinty's Crown (by McGinty).

It's understandable that Bill Borrie has his eye on Miss Potential's stud career too, after coming so close to losing her, and then increasing her breeding value so dramatically, all within the space of six months. She is likely to visit Westbury Stud's Faltaat this spring.

- Susan Archer