Horse Racing: Archer's La Diosa on song at Riccarton

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La Diosa romped home in the Group One race at Saturday's gavelhouse.com 1000 Guineas at Riccarton. Photo/Trish Dunell
La Diosa romped home in the Group One race at Saturday's gavelhouse.com 1000 Guineas at Riccarton. Photo/Trish Dunell

It was a confident plan, and with that optimism shared by the punters on a day when a couple of well-favoured runners were rolled, glory belonged to La Diosa.

The South Island-trained filly gave her dual Cox Plate winning sire So You Think his first Group One winner when she fulfilled expectations in Saturday's gavelhouse.com 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.

Those expectations were formed many months earlier according to Gordon Calder, one of those who shared in the ownership of the filly.

"She was always a gorgeous filly and the dream was always the 1000 Guineas," said Calder.

"It's great when a plan comes off, because we all know it isn't always the case in racing!" Calder said on Sunday.

The man behind the plan was the filly's breeder, Whangarei-based Terry Archer, and it was one formulated many years earlier.

"I'd raced mainly colts and geldings," he explained. "I had a group one winner with Z'Oro who won the 1994 Thorndon Mile, but I realised there was no residual value at the end of their careers."

"I thought, someone must be making some money out of this - let's try and buy well-bred fillies."

The La Diosa story really began with Archer's $55,000 purchase at the 2000 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier sale of a daughter of Star Way and stakes-winning Grosvenor mare, The Grin.

"Wayne Peters and I bought Star Affair off the Dennis brothers," he said. "She was passed in and I think Frank [Ritchie] ended up signing for her," he recalls.

When quizzed about his apparent affection for South Island female families, Archer is happy to put his hand up as a big fan.

"Absolutely, there are some beautiful families in the South Island," he said.

While La Diosa is currently leading the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series the owners of other 3-year-old fillies may be pleased to hear that is not her ultimate target. She will go for a spell now and probably have one race in New Zealand before heading to Australia in the autumn.

"You can't ignore the prize money on offer in Australia," he said. "Also, Australian black type means so much more when you are selling. The Australians are our biggest market so winning races over there really counts."

Archer is hopeful La Diosa's major target will be the ATC Oaks. "We have reason to believe she will go the distance, she has a half-sibling who was placed over 3200m, but you never know. She will tell us."

- NZ Racing Desk

- Northern Advocate

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