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Darci's Dream - Dreaming of Group One Success

Photo - NZ Racing Desk
Photo - NZ Racing Desk

Te Akau Stud boss David Ellis is hoping that Darci's Dream (Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby) winner of the listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes will become their next Group One graduate.

As the winner of the Canterbury Belle Stakes the Darci Brahma filly will be exempt from the ballot in the Group One New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in November, and with three wins under her belt she is shaping up as a strong contender for $300,000 classic for three-year-old fillies.

Darci's Dream is raced by the Fortuna Darci's Dream Syndicate managed by John Galvin. She made her debut last October in a two-year-old event at Ellerslie and after knuckling down at the start and finding all sorts of trouble in the race finished a brave sixth. She was then put aside and didn't appear again until February when she won fresh up at Te Aroha over 1000 metres.

She was placed in her next two outings before running sixth in the listed Champagne Stakes before heading to the spelling paddock. Fresh up this season at Taupo she beat a handy field of three-year-old fillies in an 1100 metre NZB Pearl Series event and picked up a $10,000 Pearl Series Bonus to boot, before heading to Riccarton to claim the Canterbury Belle Stakes.

As a Pearl Series nominated filly that is insured with New Zealand Bloodstock Darci's Dream is eligible for the additional $100,000 bonus should she win her main target the Group One 1000 Guineas.

That would be a perfect result for her owners and breeders and her name would then go alongside fellow Te Akau group one graduates Distinctly Secret (Distinctly North[USA] – Te Akau Secret), Our Unicorn (Zabeel- Regal Mel), Crystal Palace (Palace Music[USA]-ZephyrSouba) and Special Mission (Towkay[AUS]-Te AkauTrek).

Darci's Dream is the 17th individual stakes winner for her sire Darci Brahma (Danehill[USA]- Grand Ezecheaux) who was raced by a Te Akau Syndicate before retiring to The Oaks Stud. She is the third foal of the Van Nistelrooy (USA) mare Sweet Dreams Baby that Ellis and his wife Karyn Fenton-Ellis leased from Sir Peter Vela.

"We leased Sweet Dreams Baby from Sir Peter Vela to send to Saperavi (Stravinsky[IRE]- Grand Ezecheaux), we bought a few mares and leased a few mares especially to breed to him when he went to stud and nearly everything we bred by him has won. They all seem to be able to gallop. Her first two foals by him Forever Ahead and Prosperity Star have both won in Singapore," said Ellis a member of the Waikato Branch of the of NZTBA.

"Then we sent her to Darci Brahma twice and bred two fillies, and she has a lovely Alamosa colt that will go to Karaka this summer, so that win at Canterbury will boost the pedigree. I really liked Alamosa and have sent 11 mares there."

Sweet Dreams Baby then missed to Burgundy but will return to that stallion again this season. Burgundy is the third son of Grand Ezecheaux that she has visited, and given that she has produced winners to the other two, chances are she will produce a winner to Burgundy as well. All three stallions were purchased by Ellis and raced in Te Akau syndicates.

The first mating to Darci Brahma produced Darci's Dream and she was knocked down at the 2013 Select Sale to John Galvin for $45,000.

"She was a lovely strong yearling and it was very astute buying by John Galvin, and he had the foresight to follow up the following year and buy her full sister in January, albeit for a bit more at $100.000.

"Named Windborne she is looking like a great buy now that she has won her first trial so impressively. She is one of the most impressive two-year-olds seen out so far this season, and won with the fastest time at the Te Teko trials recently.

"Galvin is very pleased with himself. She is also in a Fortuna Syndicate, interestingly every horse that John has trialled or raced so far this season has won. He has had three at the trials and six at the races. That's great for syndication. Great for John Galvin and great for Te Akau as we train them all," he enthused.

As well as Darci's Dream's two wins, Highly Likely has also won two and Sir Darcyand Prince Henry have won one each.

Te Akau Stud is home to around 33 mares, some owned by David and Karyn but the majority owned by David in partnership with Te Akau's Singapore based trainer Mark Walker.

"I plan all the matings and this year we have mares going to Darci Brahma, Burgundy, Savabeel, O'Reilly, Rock'N Pop, Shame Express, Rip Van Winkle(IRE) and Cape Blanco(IRE). We have had a busy season already and have 10 foals, and we are unbelievably impressed with Burgundy's foals," he said proudly "I haven't seen any yet but the word on the Rock 'N Pop foals is that they are pretty good too!"

- Michelle Saba


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