Well known southern breeding and racing identities the Dennis brothers were back in the limelight at Riccarton on Saturday as their royally bred mare The Radiant One (Darci Brahma) took out the Listed Speight’s Timaru Stakes (1400m).
Bred, owned and trained by brothers Tony, Ray, Joe and Martin Dennis, the daughter of former The Oaks Stud resident stallion and multiple Group One winner Darci Brahma hadn’t been at her best in her last two runs following a brave performance to finish fourth in the Listed Stewards Stakes (1200m) during New Zealand Cup Week last November.
The five-year-old stripped a fitter horse after finishing midfield at Gore a week ago and raced accordingly as she justified her $2.80 favourites tag in the hands of Tina Comignaghi to deliver a stylish victory.
Comignaghi had her sitting outside pacemaker Divine Sava throughout and took over rounding the home bend.
The Radiant One kicked powerfully to establish a three length break at the 200m and despite Miss Layla steadily closing that gap, The Radiant One had more than enough in reserve to hold her out by two lengths at the finish.
Ray Dennis was on hand at the track putting the final touches on the mare and was delighted with the run.
“I’m here at Riccarton as I drove the truck up from home,” Dennis said.
“We were pleased with her as she struck a very wet track at Wingatui and the same last time at Gore where she got dragged back in the worst part of it and just couldn’t quicken.
“I was surprised at her odds today as she was very short on the tote but she did the job in good fashion.
“Being breeders, we may have sacrificed a few wins in lower class chasing black type with her but this one today is a real boost and we don’t think it will be her last either.”
Milan Park will offer Lot 476, a half-sister by Savabeel to The Radiant One during the Book 1 session at Karaka when the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale kicks off on Sunday (28 January), with Dennis hopeful this win will add some more lustre to the yearling filly.
“She (The Radiant One) comes from one of our traditional families that has been hugely successful over the years,” he said.
“All five dams in her extended pedigree have produced stakes winners which we hope will play in favour of the filly we are selling at Karaka on Monday.”
The Radiant One is out of the four-time Group Three winner The Diamond One and is the grand-daughter of dual Group One winner The Jewel who numbered the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) amongst her eleven career victories.