Modest purchase Bella Carolina has proved herself to be an exceptional investment for Mapperley Stud principal Simms Davison.
Her value has skyrocketed since she was secured for just $6,000 out of Little Avondale Stud’s draft at the 2013 New Zealand Bloodstock Broodmare Sale with the bargain buy producing three stakes winners.
“She was a dark O’Reilly mare, he was doing such a great job and getting older at the time,” Davison said.
“I didn’t have a lot of money then and she was the sort of horse that I was targeting. She looked athletic, was by the right sire and looked like she would leave nice foals, so I bought her.”
Bella Carolina was purchased in foal to Per Incanto and the result was the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) winner Tennessee while her Time Test half-brother Leedox was successful in the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m).
But in between times, it’s their half-sister Campionessa who has proved to be the star of the show.
The Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained daughter of Mapperley resident Contributer added to her black-type record at Pukekohe on Saturday with victory in the Group 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).
“Bella Carolina’s left the three stakes winners so far and those mares are so hard to find,” Davison said.
“I’ve got a full-sister to Campionessa, which will go to the Sydney Easter Sale and she’s a similar type.”
Campionessa emerged as a serious stakes performer last season with success in the Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) at Riccarton in early November and the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.
“She’s been great and been so unlucky, she came up against the best male three-year-old (Sharp ‘N’ Smart) and best filly (Prowess) in the country in those Group Ones,” Davison said.
Campionessa is now likely to tackle the Group 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) before another crack at a Group One title in the Zabeel Classic (2050m).
She was originally passed in at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale after failing to meet her $70,000 reserve.
“She made Book 1 and I really liked her, but she was passed in. She was typical of the line, but a bit finer boned and I didn’t know why she didn’t make the reserve so I thought I’d take her to Australia,” Davison said.
“The only sale I could get her in was the Magic Millions in June.”
She was offered through Westbury Stud’s draft but was again passed in before a deal was struck with Te Akau’s David Ellis for A$60,000 and Davison remained in the ownership group.
Mapperley enjoyed a top result back in Australia earlier this year when they sold Campionessa’s half-brother by Per Incanto with the Rosemont Alliance, Suman Hedge Bloodstock and Lindsay Park Racing signing the ticket at A$320,000.
“Unfortunately, the mare reabsorbed to Bivouac so she went back to Contributer and is in foal,” Davison said.
“He’s doing a great job with Maria Farina also winning two weeks ago (Listed Stewards Stakes, 1200m) and he’s got some big books coming through.”