Progressive mare Dark Princess continued her rise up the ranks with her first victory at stakes level when successful in Saturday’s Gr.3 Gee & Hickton Thompson Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.
The Cape Blanco five-year-old caught the eye with a barnstorming finish to win at Hastings over the same distance at her last start.
That convinced punters to send her out as a $5.30 favourite in Saturday’s contest where she dashed clear over the final 100m in the hands of Lisa Allpress to down gallant topweight Dolcetto with former Australian galloper Raw Impulse closing off nicely to snatch third.
“She’s still a work in progress but she’s got a touch of class about her,” trainer Jeff Lynds said.
“The little bit of rain on the track helped her but we did think she was up to the class now that she has fully matured.
“As long as she comes through this run well we will be able to look at some more ambitious targets but at this stage I don’t really have a firm plan.”
Earlier in the day the Stephen Marsh trained first starter Exuberant made a winning debut with a gritty victory in the Listed Hanley Formula Wellesley Stakes (1000m).
Sporting the familiar colours of syndication specialist, Go Racing, the Savabeel colt was a $160,000 purchase by Albert Bosma from the Book 1 draft of Waikato Stud at the National Yearling Sale earlier in the year.
A stylish win at the Ruakaka trials earlier in the month had the showy youngster regarded as a leading chance in the two-year-old feature and he didn’t disappoint when he prevailed in a thrilling finish with fellow Cambridge raider Last Sight.
“To do that at your first start, to come to a Listed race and take it out shows he is a pretty classy animal,” Marsh stable representative Todd Pollard said.
“They are fantastic, Albert and the team, they do a great job and we’ve had quite a few nice ones for them so it’s great to have them in the stable.
“He’s a gorgeous horse, not overly big but he looks like he could be quite a classy customer.”
Exuberant is the second foal of ill-fated O’Reilly mare Merrily and hails from a family that includes the brilliant Black Caviar in his extended pedigree. – NZ Racing Desk