Unlucky Rasa Lila retired without group one glory

CONNECTIONS of recently-retired Rasa Lila are adamant that their mare was only denied adding a group one credit to its breeding CV due to bad luck.

The horse’s trainer Julia Ritchie said the horse was “definitely good enough” to salute in the highest grade of racing.

“She was such a good horse and it’s a real shame she didn’t win a Group One – she was definitely good enough to,” Ritchie said.

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Last year’s Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham had loomed as Rasa Lila’s big opportunity to break through at the highest level, only to have it snatched away days before the event due to injury.

“I can honestly say I had never been so confident of winning a race and then she got colic on the Monday afternoon,” she said.

“It was heart-breaking really. After that we were chasing our tail with her in those last two races.”

Rasa Lila resumed in the autumn with a respectable sixth in the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes and she then finished a close seventh in the Group One Travis Stakes.

“She’s a beautiful mare, a really neat horse and retired 100 percent sound. We hope she leaves some lovely babies,” Ritchie said.

Bred and raced by Sir Peter Vela, Rasa Lila won seven races including the Group Two Travis Stakes and the Grope One Cuddle Stakes and it managed to record a pair of group one placings in the Windsor Park Plate and the Easter Stakes.

She is the third member of the stable to be retired to Pencarrow Stud’s broodmare paddock this season, which has meant the stable is on the back-foot in terms of racing stocks.

“Silver Eclipse and Dark And Stormy are also there now so we are in a rebuilding stage,” Ritchie said.

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Two multiple winners in the team who will be in action in the new season are Sopraffina and Quintessentially, and Ritchie said the pair are over a month into their preparations.

“They are both back in work, they’ve done about five weeks,” she said.

“Sopraffina will be out first, Quintessentially needs better tracks, and she might go to the South Island to try and get some black type at the cup carnival.”

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