Miss Dalghar delivers for Ritchie

Miss Dalghar and Brendan Hutton combining to score an authoritative win at Te Rapa today.

Miss Dalghar and Brendan Hutton combining to score an authoritative win at Te Rapa today.

A $10,000 bid at the 2015 Select Yearling Sales looks money well spent for Cambridge trainer Frank Ritchie.

Ritchie selected and bought Miss Dalghar, a filly by Brighthill Farm sire Dalghar from the unraced O’Reilly mare Top Of The Day, for that amount at Karaka and at Te Rapa today the nicely bred filly recorded her first win in just her second start, scoring by two lengths after being trapped wide.

Miss Dalghar started favourite in the Guineas Day 4th February 1200 on the strength of an encouraging debut fourth at Avondale last June and an impressive trials win at Cambridge 12 days ago.

In her debut, on a heavy10 track, she came up against Saville Row, who proved too classy and has since gone on to win again and, more importantly, be three times stakes-placed, including seconds in the Gr.1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas and the Gr.1 Randwick Meats Levin Classic last start at Trentham.

Given a lengthy break after that debut effort, Miss Dalghar cruised home over 800 metres at the Cambridge trials when ridden by a lightweight apprentice and Ritchie, like punters, was expecting a successful performance from her today.

“It was a bog when she had her first start and she was a bit immature early on,” said Ritchie, who races Miss Dalghar in partnership with a couple of stable clients.

“It took me a while to get her to the races. She seemed to handle bad ground all right and went a fair sort of race, but she’s better on top of the ground.”

Miss Dalghar was ridden today by apprentice Brendan Hutton, who had also been aboard in her first two trials which resulted in seconds at Cambridge and Te Awamutu in May and June last year. In that latter trial she was beaten by the highly rated Ferrando, who took his record to three wins from five starts when successful at Trentham yesterday.

Hutton bounced Miss Dalghar out well but the filly was trapped wide so he eased her for a trial but had no luck getting her closer to the rail.

Approaching the home turn Miss Dalghar was pushed four- wide when keeping in contact with the leaders yet managed to kick clear after challenging with 300 metres to run.

“We didn’t get the greatest of runs from the barrier and she was a little bit green in places – she ran off a bit around the bend,” said Hutton. “She’s going to take great improvement from the run. That turn of foot when she straightened up was brilliant.”

Ritchie has no grandiose plans for Miss Dalghar, preferring to take his time with the promising filly. And in the back of his mind he knows she comes from a family which improves with age.

She is a granddaughter of Full Noise, whose seven wins from 1200 to 2400 metres included the Listed STC Stayers’ Cup. Among Full Noise’s placings was a third in the Gr.1 NZ Stakes at Ellerslie.

This is the family of Hawke’s Bay breeder Don Gordon and includes the top racemare Mun Lee, who was the NZ Filly of the Year and winner of the Gr.1 Lion Brown Sprint at Te Rapa. The Gr.2 ARC Championship Stakes winner Dancing Daze is also closely related to Miss Dalghar, as is the Gr.1 South Australian Oaks winner Marmalitre.

Blackmagicwoman (Sam Weatherley) giving the Ritchie family their second win at Te Rapa today.

Blackmagicwoman (Sam Weatherley) giving the Ritchie family their second win at Te Rapa today.

The Ritchie family had more to celebrate later in the day when Blackmagicwoman, trained by Frank’s son Shaune, gained a deserved maiden win in the Style Counsel 1600.

A four-year-old daughter of Shocking, Blackmagicwoman had been placed in seven of her 10 starts, including seconds in her previous two outings this campaign. She was beaten by Hurry at Ellerslie on December 11 then 18 days later she was outgunning by the promising Nymph, again at Ellerslie, when stepping up to 1600 metres.

Today she again faced the metric mile trip and she stuck to her guns in front down the home straight to hold out the strong-finishing Neddy Nadeem with the Sam Logan-trained Lambrusco a sound third.