Delishka and Blake Fitzpatrick winning at Menangle. Photo: Ashlea Brennan.
No matter what happens in the Group 1 Ladyship Mile in a fortnight’s time, Brad Mowbray considers his Australian sojourn with Delishka a complete success.
The speedy mare took out a Ladyship qualifier, the Group 3 A$40,800 Sibelia Stakes, in fine fashion in Sydney on Saturday night.
In doing so she downed Group 1-winning Kiwi mares Piccadilly Princess, Rocker Band and Partyon, among others.
“Whatever happens now is a bonus,” said Christchurch-based Mowbray.
“Everything I wanted to achieve with her this season, I have.”
Mowbray set three goals with Delishka to achieve by the end of this season – for her to earn $100,000, set a good lifetime mark, and prove herself to be a Group performer.
By winning a Group 3, running 1.51.1 and ticking over $107,000 in stakes last night, Mowbray feels like it is a case of ‘objective achieved’.
A future broodmare career awaits the daughter of Bettor’s Delight, which Mowbray part-owns, but she hasn’t finished earning for the season yet, he thinks.
“We’ll go around in the Ladyship Mile and then come home via Auckland as that is how the flights work.
“There is the Northern Breeders Stakes and another $40,000 race for her, and then we might take her home and look to set her for the Jewels.”
Sydney horseman Blake Fitzpatrick has been looking after Delishka for the past fortnight and did the driving on Saturday night.
“Blake said he thinks she might have another gear yet; he never got the chance to pull the plugs out.”
Mowbray is a pretty laid-back customer but says he felt a bit of extra satisfaction from last night’s win.
“It vindicates our decision to go over there.
“There were a few that sort of doubted her credentials before she went, but she proved that we were right to believe in ourselves and go over there.
“My horse won a Roxburgh Cup whereas those mares have won Oaks, Jewels, the Queen Of Hearts.
“So, we may have gone the bush track to get there, but we arrived all the same.”
“I’m pretty happy.”
Mowbray is yet to go to Australia during Delishka’s campaign and says he hasn’t made his mind up whether he will travel to Sydney on February 24.
“I’ll toss and turn over that; I don’t want to rock the boat too much.”