Ariella Wins Classic

Ariella Wins Classic

Bruce Stewart

Ariella dented a few reputations when she downed a quality field of two year old fillies in the Caduceus Club of Southland/Alabar Fillies Classic at Ascot Park today.

The Dean Taylor trained Art Major filly was 5/6 in the betting and was expected by many to find it hard against the likes of Town Echo, Nina Simone and Sweet Lizzie.

In today’s Group Three feature, driver Robbie Close settled Ariella last on the inside while Shanika and Town Echo took turns at leading. With 1100 metres to run Ariella was three back on the inside. When Shanika moved off the inside running line just before the last turn Close was able to get a run up behind the leader Town Echo. Up the passing lane she was too good for Town Echo and Shanika.

The winning time of 2-41.5 smashed Northern Velocity’s race, track and Southland record of 2-44.5.

Ariella winning for Dean Taylor and Robbie Close

“She’s been a nice filly from day one. I put a boring pole on her the other day. Normally they play up particularly two year olds, but she didn’t flinch. She’s just improved every run. It makes a difference when you get a decent draw. You draw seven or eight at Addington and you’re buggered,” said Taylor.

The Art Major filly is owned by a stack of owners with the group being organised by Andrew Fry who bought the filly.

“She’s got the greatest set of owners you could ever have. They’ve had so many bad things happen to horses. Now they’ve finally got a good one. Andrew Fry owns her and he’s done a deal with a whole lot of his friends.”

She was purchased from Woodlands Stud at last year’s Weanling Sale.

“Before the sale we got Barry and Katrina Purdon to have a look at the filly and they reported that she had beautiful legs and a good head on her. Lesley (wife) and I were down at the Bluff Oyster Festival and Scott Phelan went to the sale to bid on her while Andrew was in Christchurch on the phone and he got her.”

Ariella, which means Lion of God in Hebrew, is a full sister to Isaiah who still holds the 2700 metre stand record at Ascot Park.