Hanalei too strong in Wellesley Stakes

Promising filly Hanalei showed she had taken plenty from her runner-up performance on debut at Te Aroha at the start of the month, when she dominated her two-year-old rivals in the Listed IRT Wellesley Stakes (1100m) at Trentham.

The Jamie Richards trained daughter of Darci Brahma had been heavily backed for her first-up performance but had to bow to stablemate Maven Belle after struggling to find clear galloping room early in the straight that day.

Trentham’s wide-open spaces worked a treat for Hanalei on Saturday as rider Michael McNab let her find her feet early in the 1100m dash before angling into the clear as they negotiated the crossing into the home straight.

Hanalei quickly joined issue with the leaders and flattened out impressively over the final 200m to dash right away to score handsomely by just on three lengths from Cambridge raider Charmario, with debut winner Zaher close up in third.

Richards gave credit to Assistant Trainer Sam Bergerson for identifying the early black-type opportunity for the filly, who was again well-supported and started a $2.90 favourite.

“She’s always shown a lot at home but just needed the time to furnish,” Richards said.

“She is still very green, but I’m pleased with the way she was able to put them away in the finish.

“Mum and Dad bred her with their good friends, Bill and Sandra Duell, so I think I might be alright in the will for a little while longer.

“She has it all ahead of her, with the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m) at home her next assignment.”

Bred and raced by Richard’s parents Paul and Leanne along with Bill and Sandra Duell, Hanalei is out of the Pyrus mare Lucrative and is a half-sister to Cote De Beaune, who remains unbeaten after two starts thanks to a win in the preceding event for Richards and his owners, the Te Akau Grand Cru Racing Partnership.

Hanalei and Cote De Beaune are closely related to a number of well performed staying types including Gr.2 Waikato Cup (2400m) winner Dawn Ghost and Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) winner Dorset Downs.

McNab was delighted with the win and believes the filly will take plenty of benefit from the Trentham experience.

“She got back in her race the other day, got held up and the stablemate was able to kick away,” McNab said.

“She learnt a lot and with the side winkers on, she was well prepared for today.

“She got there (the front) quite easily and went on with it which is a good sign.”  - NZ Racing Desk


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