Progressive mare Darci La Bella added a valuable black-type victory to an already outstanding race record when she strode clear to win the Gr.3 Grangewilliam Stud Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Hawera.
The winner of eight of her 14 starts before contesting Saturday’s Group Three feature, the daughter of Darci Brahma went into the race as a warm favourite after finishing fourth to outstanding mare Imperatriz at Group Two level two starts back before winning comfortably in open handicap company a week ago at Te Rapa.
Sent out at a $2.10 quote for trainer Allan Sharrock, punters had no cause for concern as rider Lisa Allpress guided the five-year-old mare to a convincing three length victory over Secret Amour and Victorem.
Sharrock cut a satisfied figure after the plan he had worked out for his charge had come together on the day.
“She is a good mare, just a little horse and I thought she deserved that win today,” he said.
“I purposefully gave her a run last week, where she won at Te Rapa, to take some of the exuberance out of her and to get her ready for the 1400m today.
“She ran the trip right out and I’m very proud of the performance and of her.”
Sharrock plans to give Darci La Bella, who is the younger half-sister to another top performer in his stable in Tavi Mac, at least one more start in this preparation before sending her to the spelling paddock and possible retirement.
“I might look at a race like the Manawatu Challenge Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m) for her after she has a little break, but I’m not sure about what might be after that,” he said.
“She is not a big mare and now with a rating of over 100, she is at a tough place in the weights in a handicap race.
“She has got her black-type win and a fourth at Group Two level as well, so she might end up in the broodmare paddock next year.
“She is a valuable mare given she is a half to Tavi Mac, who has won four stakes races as well, so we will just wait and see what the future might hold for her.”
Darci La Bella has now won nine of her 15 starts and over $213,000 in prizemoney for Sharrock who co-bred and owns the mare with long-term clients Ann and Hec McCallum along with Ron and Noel Stanley. – NZ Racing Desk