Pocket rocket Darci La Bella (Darci Brahma x Bellaroof) added another present under the Christmas tree for her connections when she proved too strong in the closing stages when taking out the Gr.2 Bramco Granite and Marble Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Trentham.
The Allan Sharrock-trained mare made it four wins in a row, three of them at stakes level, as she downed Group One winner Coventina Bay in a driving finish to the Group Two feature.
Rider Jonathan Riddell had a few anxious moments as he tried to find clear room at the top of the straight but once the daughter of Darci Brahma had shouldered her way clear, her instant acceleration quickly took her to the front before holding out the determined charge of Coventina Bay and Cambridge visitor Oseleta to claim the victory.
Riddell was quick to make mention of the mare’s diminutive stature when explaining how the race had played out.
“She travelled quite keen the whole way today,” Riddell said.
“She got stuck in a pocket and I had to use all 14 hands of her to push out, but she scoots away and just did it all by herself.
“She is a genuine racehorse and I wish they were all like that.”
Sharrock was delighted to see his charge round out a long season with such a tenacious performance as he looks to further glory with her in her next campaign.
“She has just capped off a wonderful season as she has raced through the winter and on to here and has never put a foot wrong,” he said.
“I was going to put her away after she won the Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3 1400m) at Hawera, but we kept her going to Pukekohe (Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes 1400m) where she gave them a hiding and now, she has come out and done this.
“There’s not much to her size wise, but she is as tough as they come and she never shirks a fight.”
Darci La Bella will now head to the spelling paddock with a shot at the highest level looming for her in the spring
“She can go in the paddock now, but I think she could be a Group One winner in the spring next year with some more maturity,” Sharrock said.
“She has so much natural ability and can run on all types of tracks so a race like the Tarzino Trophy (Gr.1, 1400m) at Hastings is a race I would like to target for her.
“The Darci Brahma’s tend to get better with age and if all goes to plan, she will be very competitive on what she has achieved so far in her career.”
Darci La Bella has compiled an outstanding record of eleven wins from just 17 starts, including two at Group Two level and another at Group Three, with prizemoney in excess of $368,000.
Raced by Sharrock along with long-term clients Ann and Hec McCallum and Ron and Noel Stanley, Darci La Bella is the younger half-sister to another much loved stakes performer in his stable in Tavi Mac. – NZ Racing Desk