Darci Brahma Aiming For More Group I Glory
26 Oct 2005More Group One glory in Australia and New Zealand is now the primary target for glamour New Zealand three-year-old colt Darci Brahma (NZ) (Danehill x Grand Echezeaux) after he won Saturday's Gr. 2 Wellington Thoroughbred Breeders' Guineas (1500m) at Trentham so impressively.

Darci Brahma was a $1.1 million purchase from the 2004 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka by Te Akau Stud's David Ellis from the draft of Peter and Philip Vela's Pencarrow Stud.

Darci Brahma already boasts a very valuable Group 1 win in his racing career. That was achieved in the TJ Smith Classic (1600m) in Brisbane last season which went a long way towards him winning the title of Champion New Zealand Two-Year-Old.

After returning from Brisbane and a brief spell during winter, Darci Brahma has commenced his three year old year in great fashion. He has won twice at Group 2 level already this season from just two starts. The first was when he made his fresh-up 3 year old debut in the Golan Windsor Park Hawke's Bay Guineas at Hastings on October 1.

The second was on Saturday, when he turned what had been touted as a possible match race between himself and the also highly talented colt, Dr Green (Fusaichi Pegasus x Palia). No such contest eventuated, as Darci Brahma, ridden by Michael Walker, had his rivals in trouble a long way from home.

"When it came to the home straight I knew he would just explode away from them," Walker said.

Second home in Saturday's race was the promising Captain Kurt (NZ) (Volksraad x O'Sequita) who is also heading to Riccarton for the 2000 Guineas. Third was Chettak (Almutawakel x Filament) who has now recorded a win and two seconds from his 3 starts, with Dr Green, who overraced in the early stages of the contest finishing fourth.

The time for the 1500m race was 1.32.12 on the dead track, with the official margins being 1 and ¾ lengths, 1 and ¼ lengths and 1 and ¾ lengths.

Matamata trainer Mark Walker has carefully selected a line-up of Group 1 races for Darci Brahma for the remainder of his three-year-old racing career.

The first on the list is the $300,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 12. He is currently the $1.75 favourite for that race after Saturday's clear-cut win.

After the 2000 Guineas Darci Brahma will be given a spell and there is a chance he could resume in the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham in January. Otherwise, and the more likely autumn pipe-opener, is the Gr. 1 Waikato Draught Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa in February.

The regally-bred colt could also tackle the Group I 1600m WFA event at Otaki in late February before heading to Melbourne for the Cadbury Guineas. He will then target the Sydney autumn carnival, where he will have a variety of options. "He will be nominated for both the Group 1 AJC Doncaster (1600m) and the Group 1 AJC Derby (2400m)," Walker said.

Darci Brahma's already assured future as a stallion will be boosted even more should he win any of these Group 1 assignments.

Walker now rates Darci Brahma as the best horse he has trained. That mantle previously belonged to triple Gr. 1 winner and New Zealand Horse of the Year, King's Chapel (Aus) (King Of Kings).

"He's an incredible horse and I believe he is capable of winning a Gr. 1 race at 1200m or 2400m as a three-year-old," Walker said.

Darci Brahma was the first foal from Gr. 1 Australasian Oaks winner Grand Echezeaux (NZ) (Zabeel x Richebourg) who has been covered this year by sensational sire Redoute's Choice.

Grand Echezeaux's second foal, a Montjeu two-year-old filly, is also being trained by Mark Walker.

Pencarrow Stud will offer a half-brother to Darci Brahma, by Stravinsky, at next year's New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale in late January at Karaka.

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