The Lisa Latta-trained Secret Allure secured her biggest career success when she stormed to victory in Saturday’s Gr.3 Williment Travel Group Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
The Zacinto three-year-old filly made it back-to-back victories in the race for the Latta stable and rider Leith Innes after Dijon Blue was successful in 2018 on her way to capturing the prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title.
A last-start runner-up finish in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie saw Secret Allure as one of the main fancies for the contest however it was Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) runner-up Valalie, from the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable, who was installed a warm favourite.
Valalie enjoyed a sweet trip in transit behind the early speed with Secret Allure settling well beyond midfield, but against the rail, in a strung-out field for the majority of the race.
Asked to quicken by Innes approaching the home turn Secret Allure was still spotting the leaders some distance, but quickly loomed into contention as Valalie hit the front at the 200m mark.
Secret Allure stormed past her to take control over the final stages before holding out a late charge from Jakkalbomb with Valalie clinging on for third.
“Leith came out and said he had watched a few of her replays and she reminded him a bit of Dijon Bleu,” Latta said.
“She hasn’t quite got the height of her, but she is a tough little filly.
“I said to Leith that she could pull and I didn’t care where he was, just get her one off the fence and just give her a cosy run.
“He said I might look for a run up the inside, so I said just do whatever you want and everything just opened up for her.”
Innes was feeling satisfied with the victory, especially for the owners of Secret Allure who had also raced Dijon Bleu.
“It’s pretty special as they are a neat bunch of people,” he said.
“She (Secret Allure) is not very big but she’s pretty gutsy.
“I think Dijon Bleu was a little bit better, but this filly is on the way up.”
The victory secured Secret Allure a further six points to add to her existing four in the race for the NZB Filly of the Year title. She now sits in second place on ten points behind current series leader, Media Sensation (12).
A Shooting To Win half-brother to Secret Allure will feature as Lot 391 from the Inglewood Stud draft during Book 1 at the National Yearling Sale at Karaka that commences on January 27. – NZ Racing Desk