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She Brings Joy (NZ) Claims Royal Stakes

January 8, 2017

With a perfectly timed charge, She Brings Joy (NZ) (Sebring) got up in the last stride for a thrilling win in the fifth leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, the $100,000 Group 2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on Sunday.

In a tactically run race, Adis (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) dictated terms from in front and kicked strongly in the straight. The 20-to-one outsider appeared to have stolen the race. But She Brings Joy lengthened stride in the last 150 metres and snatched victory by a half-head.

It was the second year in a row that trainer Stephen Marsh and jockey Danielle Johnson won the Royal Stakes, having won it in 2016 with the subsequent Filly of the Year Sofia Rosa (NZ) (Makfi).

“I can’t believe this horse was still a maiden,” Marsh said. “She’s been probably our most promising maiden for a long time.

“I thought she’d win first up and then second up but it’s just those bad draws that have plagued us. Finally today she drew a barrier.”

Bred and raced by Kevin Hickman, She Brings Joy has had four starts for one win, one placing and more than $60,000 in prize-money.

She Brings Joy picked up 8 Filly of the Year Series points for Sunday’s win, boosting her to third place on the points table behind Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) and La Diosa (NZ) (So You Think).

Runner-up Adis collected 4 points to sit in seventh place on the table, with the third-placed Grand Soleil (NZ) (Savabeel) moving on to the table with 2 points.

story and photo from NZ Racing