Scott Darby is hoping that Saturday’s Inglis Nursery winner, She Will Reign, can go one better than Yankee Rose in the Golden Slipper.
Earlier this year the Darby Racing sourced and syndicated, Yankee Rose, caught most of us by surprise with a brilliant second behind Capitalist in the Slipper before going on to win the Sires’ Produce, the Spring Champion Stakes – both at Group One level – and run third in the Cox Plate.
The filly, which cost just $10,000 as a yearling at the Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale, has now won over $2.1 million in prizemoney.
She Will Reign cost twice as much as Yankee Rose – knocked down for $20,000 at the 2016 Inglis Sydney Classic – but you won’t hear Darby complaining any time soon about having to up the ante.
Making her debut at Kembla on 10 December, She Will Reign gave her subjects a right royal shellacking over 1000m, winning by eight lengths in near race record time.
Just a week later, the Gary Portelli-trained youngster journeyed to Randwick where again she made it a one act affair in the $495,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m), scoring with four panels to spare.
A delighted Darby said he was quietly confident She Will Reign would win, but was a bit concerned about the racing surface.
“It was a heavy track and I was unsure how she’d handle it, but as it turned out, I need not have worried,” Darby points out. “She’s a lot different to the other filly in that Yankee Rose can clearly get out over a bit of distance, but She Will Reign seems to be an out and out speed machine.
“We’ll have a good talk to Gary (Portelli) but will probably work backwards from the Slipper. Maybe something like the Silver Slipper and then the Reisling.
“There are a lot of options but Darby Racing has had quite a few horses in and around the Slipper and while I know I’m not alone, I would love to win a Golden Slipper.”
Lightning has well and truly struck twice for Darby Racing by acquiring such outstanding 2YOs in successive seasons, but Darby freely admits to some “inside running” with She Will Reign.
“Darby Racing syndicated She Will Reign’s dam, Courgette, who was a lot better racehorse than her two wins from 15 starts might suggest,” Darby continues. “Anyway, one of the part-owners, Gary Bachell is a good client of ours and he decided to breed from her and sent the mare to Manhattan Rain.
“So, we naturally went and had a look at the mare’s first foal (She Will Reign) at the Inglis Classic. She’s not overly correct in front but looked a fairly forward type and you’re not too worried at that sort of money.
“The one I felt sorry for was Gary (Bachell) who had obviously thought he’d get quite a bit more for the yearling. But Gary’s a good sport and he didn’t throw the toys out of the cot … instead he decided to keep a share in She Will Reign, who has now won $332,900, and he still has the mare. It’s all worked out pretty well in the end.”
Courgette is out of a half sister to Sydney stakes winner, Touch of Sun and the 2YO black typer, Millie, while third dam, Sunshine Sally, won the Group Two Reisling Slipper Trial before running second in the Group One AJC Oaks.
Courgette has a Shamus Award yearling filly and produced a colt by Time For War this spring.
Meanwhile, the Arrowfield Stud based, Manhattan Rain, continues his good record with 2YOs.
“Darby Racing were early to the party with Manhattan Rain, because She Will Reign is their second juvenile stakeswinner by him, after Group Two winner Scarlet Rain,” Arrowfield’s Jon Freyer reveals. “All up, Manhattan Rain now has five stakes-winning 2YOs, so we’re pretty happy to be selling a filly and two colts by him at Magic Millions, and one of his five yearlings at Inglis Classic.
“It was also pleasing to see Arrowfield-sired runners She Will Reign, Calanda and Geneteau win 63% of the $750,000 prizemoney on offer in the two Inglis Sale-related races at Randwick on Saturday.”