First NZ stakeswinner for Danske

Danske, sire of Timaru Cup winner Sapphire Belle

Danske, sire of Timaru Cup winner Sapphire Belle
Four-year-old mare Sapphire Belle gave her sire Danske his first New Zealand stakeswinner when she took out the Timaru Cup 1600m LR today. It was a stylish performance, in the quick time of 1:33.83, and defeating a strong field that included two Group One winners, The Jewel (fourth) and Maroofity (eighth).

Trained by Jan Hay at Ashburton, Sapphire Belle was bred by the Mapperley Stud Partnership and sold for $22,000 at the 2003 NZ Select Fillies Sale to Kevin Hickman who races her with Graeme Reardon.

An attractive, well-balanced type, Sapphire Belle has now won five of her 14 starts and added considerably to her broodmare value, although there was already plenty of strength in her pedigree. Her dam Sapphire Flight is a non-winning sister to the very high-class Australian performer Alibhai, winner of four Group One races and Head of the 1984-85 Australasian Older Horse Classification. Their dam Gem Flight was a sister to the dam of outstanding filly Our Flight (New Zealand Derby G1, NZ One Thousand Guineas G1). This is, of course, the famous Flight family descended from Francolin.

Of Sapphire Flight's seven foals, six have raced and all have won, including Sapphire Belle's year-older brother Ultramarine (five wins) and Group 3-placed half-brother Able Way.

From 355 foals in four crops of racing age, including 83 unraced two-year-olds, Danske has now left four stakeswinners and twelve stakes-placed horses. His previous three black type winners have all been in Australia: Anna Carina in Brisbane, Dante's Paradiso in Sydney and Cunamulla Lass in Hobart.

Danske, who won a Listed Race in Sydney at two, and the CJC NZ Two Thousand Guineas G1 at three, has stood the 2005 season at Paul & Debbie Thistoll's Emerald Lodge Stud near Christchurch, after six seasons at Windsor Park Stud, Cambridge. He will be represented by 15 yearlings at the 2006 NZ National Yearling Sales, fourteen in the Festival Sale, and a Select Sale colt.

Grateful acknowledgement to Arion Pedigrees for pedigree, performance and statistical data.

- Susan Archer


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