Exciting three-year-old Darci La Bella showed she has inherited plenty of the family ability when she made a winning debut at Otaki on Monday. The Darci Brahma filly is a half-sister to her trainer Allan Sharrock’s stable star Tavi Mac, although Sharrock is quick to point out one major difference.
“They are both very talented individuals, but she definitely got the looks in the family,” he said. “Neither of them are that big, but he’s called Frodo for a reason whereas she is a beautiful filly to look at.”
Although not sighted publicly at the trials prior to her debut, Sharrock had been confident of a good performance from his charge as she had shown him plenty in her jumpouts back at New Plymouth.
Rider Ashvin Goindasamy made good use of an inside barrier draw to hustle Darci La Bella to the lead where she controlled the tempo to the home corner. Goindasamy shot her clear at that point and despite second favourite Meg making a spirited late challenge, she held on nicely to collect the victory.
“Based on what I’ve seen at home she is definitely a better chaser than she is a leader,” Sharrock said. “We had the good barrier today so we wanted to make use of it, but as she progresses up the grades, I definitely think she will be better ridden with a sit. “I’ll take her along quietly but if she does what I think she is capable of then a race like the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (Group 3, 1200m) might be a target for her in the autumn.”
The victory provided Sharrock with the middle leg of a winning treble after The Lost Boys opened his account on debut in race two, before Alhambra Lad notched his first victory later in the day. Sharrock had purchased Ocean Park four-year-old The Lost Boys as a yearling from Highfield Grange Thoroughbreds for $22,000 at the NZB Yearling Sale at Karaka in 2018, with the view to trading him later on.
Despite an impressive win at the Foxton trials back in December 2019, Sharrock couldn’t get anyone interested so decided to bide his time and race him instead. The Lost Boys showed he definitely has a future as he chased down leader Buster’s Habit in the final 300m to score an eye-catching victory, one that Sharrock is hoping might ignite some interest in him.
“I bought him at the sales as he is a lovely type, but I just couldn’t get anyone interested in him, even when he won his trial,” Sharrock said. “We decided to put him away and try him once he had matured and he showed today what he could do. “I think he will furnish into a lovely staying type as we know the Ocean Park’s get better with age. “There is a race for him over 1400m coming up at Trentham so he will go there next if we haven’t sold him by then.
“Alhambra Lad has plenty of talent as well but didn’t get all favours in his first two starts. “I thought he could win if he got some luck and that is how it played out.”
The Lost Boys is out of the unraced Fast ‘N’ Famous mare Paris Carver, a daughter of multiple stakes-winning mare Starcent who finished runner-up twice at Group 1 level, while Alhambra Lad is a Proisir half-brother to Sharrock’s former handy galloper The Growler.