South Island NZTBA Councillor Gus Wigley has always been a supporter of the NZB Insurance Pearl Series and each year has always nominated a number of fillies.
Last Friday at Wingatui, he was rewarded for his perseverance when Raven Darkholme (Iffraj[IRE]-Mystique), won a 1400 metre maiden race which happened to be a NZB Insurance Pearl Series race.
“This is the first bonus we have won and we have nominated a few fillies over the years,” the Inglewood Stud General Manager said, “and we did target this race especially. Winning a Pearl Series race with the bonuses is the equivalent of winning a $30,000 race at Canterbury.
“You end up with about $16,000 in your kick, it’s fabulous. In fact we are now going to line her up next in the rating 65 1600 metre Pearl Race at Timaru on December 28th, and have a go at another one. We are big fans of the scheme and will keep supporting it.”
Raven Darkholme is the third foal of the stakes placed Montjeu(GB) mare Mystique herself a daughter of the Group One winning mare Seamist, and she has already left a stakes winner in Replique and her second foal Shadow King is also a winner. Replique by Darci Brahma won the Listed Southland Guineas, and already Wigley and his father Nick who trained both fillies can see similarities between the two.
“The penny has just dropped with Raven Darkholme, she didn’t seem to know what she was about in her first few starts, but now she is a really honest filly and tries hard. Replique was the same and it was about this time of the year that the penny dropped with her and she went on to win the Southland Guineas in the autumn. I think we will follow a similar pattern with this filly.”
Before the autumn though Inglewood Stud will present the fifth foal of Mystique a Shooting To Win colt as part of their draft for Book One and the NZB Sales at Karaka.
“He is an absolute stunner, a really nice horse that presents with plenty of muscle and good bone,” enthused Wigley, “we sent the mare to Australia to try and add some Aussie flair to the page, and this good South Island family, and we are pleased with the result.
“We are really pleased with all our yearlings for the sale this year, and will be very interested to see how successful the changes to the sales are going to be.” - Michelle Saba