Delectation Girl (Delegator), a European-bred mare who has raced in six countries for Newcastle syndicator Australian Bloodstock, will get her chance to win a maiden Group 1 race in today’s fillies and mares Coolmore Classic (Gr 1, 1500m) at Rosehill.
The well-travelled six-year-old, a three-time stakes winner in the northern hemisphere, is in what is likely to be her final racing preparation with the mare slated for auction at the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale in May.
The Kris Lees-trained Delectation Girl, who will be ridden by Andrew Mallyon from barrier two in the Coolmore Classic, demonstrated she was returning to peak form when runner-up to stablemate Special Reward (Demerit) in the Newcastle Newmarket (Gr 3, 1400m) 15 days ago.
In eight starts for Lees, she has twice finished runner-up at Group 3 level, with arguably her best Australian performance coming in the Angst Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Randwick last October.
Delectation Girl has raced 20 times in total, 19 of those under the Australian Bloodstock ownership banner.
“I found her off a maiden win in England, so we have had her all bar one of her runs,” Australian Bloodstock’s Luke Murrell said.
“The poor bugger has been everywhere. She won Scotland’s only stakes race as a two-year-old, then we sent her to Germany and she did really well for us over there and won a couple of Group races.
“She had a crack in England in a Group 1 and then we sent her to America which was a disaster.”
The five-start US career, spanning two preparations, occurred in 2017 and 2018 before the decision was made to bring her to Australia early last year.
“She came back in not the best of health, so Kris has done an amazing job to nurse her back,” he said.
“She will be sold at Magic Millions, but if she could run up to the Angst when she ran second at Randwick, I have her running a really good race at huge odds.
“She’s not really a 1400-metre horse at all but she was super the other day.”
Australian Bloodstock enjoyed significant sales ring success on the Gold Coast last year when they sold the dam of 2019 Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Lyre (Lonhro), Street Cry (Machiavellian) mare Erato, who was in foal to Russian Revolution (Snitzel), for $1.75 million. Murrell and Lovett bought her from the same sale two years earlier for $120,000.
Delectation Girl is by Dansili (Danehill) stallion Delegator out of the six-furlong-winning mare Chushka (Pivotal), who in turn is a half-sister to the Group 2-successful Captain Hurricane (Desert Style).
“She’s a two-year-old Group winner, she has done it in three or four different countries now,” Murrell said of Delectation Girl’s value as a broodmare prospect.
“If we could find the right mares race to win here she would be really well sought after because she’s a good type.
“We will have a crack here (in Sydney) and then a bit of focus on Queensland, but she is certainly going as well as she ever has in her life I think.”
Murrell on …
Danceteria (Redoute’s Choice) (Sky High Stakes, Rosehill)
“I haven’t been that disappointed for a long time in a runner just because there’d been such high expectations first-up. He just couldn’t go, the big fella. I am going to be more nervous with him on Saturday than any other horse because he’s a very good horse but he had an issue in the spring. He worked sensationally leading up to the Sydney run – he had the third best last 600 metres of the race, but he still got beaten a fair way. I expected him to do a lot better than that. Has he not come up? All the work suggests that he has, but you have to see it on race day. We are going in a bit blind. If we didn’t have that run the other day I would say he was the winner with something in hand, but given that run he is going to be 20-1 and friendless on the day.”
Attention Run (Hurricane Run) (Sky High Stakes, Rosehill)
“We have probably only brought four or five mares to Australia and four of them we have got black type with. She is flying and she got stuck on the wrong part of the track the other day, but I don’t think that’s her race (today), to be honest. I think she’s looking for 2400 metres, but she is certainly going well. She’ll show up in a BMW (H E Tancred Stakes) or a Chairman’s on her way to a Sydney Cup.”
Mustajeer (Medicean) (Sky High Stakes, Rosehill)
“If we had drawn Attention Run’s gate (five), I think he would be a moral. None of those horses could go with him bar possibly Danceteria. It’s just a little sticky from that gate (10) and Rosehill doesn’t really suit horses circling pre-bend and wide. It could look a bit ugly but I would expect he will run top two.”
Tactical Advantage (Bel Esprit) (Maurice McCarten Stakes, Rosehill)
“We didn’t pay a lot for him and he’s won right on $1 million. He’s been a beauty for us. As he’s got older he’s probably lost a little bit of that tactical speed. I will know halfway through the race if he’s going to be winning or not. If he’s midfield I think he’ll win, but if he’s last … the Rosehill 1100 metres is a really biased track and distance course and I don’t think we’d be able to give Zoustyle six lengths and round him up at Rosehill; Randwick would be a different story. If he’s midfield I’ll be expecting him to go really close.”
Mugatoo (Henrythenavigator) (Canberra Cup winner)
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with him, but Kris has done a really good job with him. We’re just trying to map where we go and I don’t think the Sydney Cup will be it. We’re probably going to the Manion Cup and then that will give us some options as to whether we stay to a Queen Elizabeth Stakes path or we go to a Tancred Stakes. No one has been able to find the bottom of him yet, so I think he’s a bit better than what he has shown us so far. The other thing is, he can sustain his run, which is what has really impressed me. There’s no doubt he will stick on and get a trip, but he might just be a bit too classy for us to stretch him out to a Sydney Cup this year.”