Fortuna 3yo Filly, DARCI’S DREAM, runs 2nd in Group One 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.

Winning or even running a place in a Group One event, particularly with a Filly, is an objective that any owner of a Thoroughbred Filly aspires to. Indeed, even to have a horse good enough to run in such an event is an achievement in itself.

DARCI'S DREAM with David Walsh aboard  on way to victory Canterbury Belle Stakes
DARCI’S DREAM with David Walsh aboard on way to victory Canterbury Belle Stakes

So, as the 2014 renewal of the NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, run over 1600 metres and probably the most prestigious Fillies event in NZ, approached, the ownership group of DARCI’S DREAM (Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby) were naturally excited, hopeful and apprehensive all at the same time. While DARCI’S DREAM had won on the Riccarton track (Canterbury Belle Stakes) over 1200 metres in September, her main competitor, O’Marilyn, who was already a Group One winner as a 2yo and had been dominant in her 3yo races to date, seemed to be difficult to beat. The other factor that Trainer, Jason Bridgman, had been mulling over was that DARCI’S DREAM did not have a great turn of foot on a Good 3 racing surface. Accordingly, he hatched a plan to try and steal the race with DARCI’S DREAM by having rider, David Walsh, go to the front and ensure there was a truly run race which would test the field to its limit.

The race plan was followed to the letter by Walsh, who strode to the lead shortly after the start and maintained a strong gallop throughout the run. The long Riccarton straight is a test for any leader but DARCI’S DREAM kept on going down the straight; however in behind was lurking PLATINUM WITNESS, who had already scored a win (Armadillo Stakes) and a fourth ( Group One 2000 Guineas) at Riccarton, both events run over the 1600 metre trip. Battle hardened from those events, she ranged up to DARCI’S DREAM and won the race by a length and a quarter, a very creditable performance. Hot favourite, O’MARILYN was well beaten, finishing seventh. Click HERE to see the race result and Video replay.

Judging by the post race reaction of the eighteen Members of the DARCI’S DREAM Syndicate who were on course, she may as well have won rather than running second. Clearly they all recognised the brave effort that their filly had put in. Syndicate Manager, John Galvin, had this to say after the race “That was a gallant run by this lovely Filly, she is as tough as teak and while she didn’t get the Gold Medal, she put in a great performance for the Silver; she has a lot more in front of her yet. A great result for her wonderful team of owners”

Bred by David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis, DARCI’S DREAM was acquired at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Karaka Select Sale for $45,000 and is owned by the Fortuna Darci’s Dream Syndicate, an ownership Group comprising 29 individuals.