Stakes Success for Belle Plaisir (NZ)

24 May 2021

Belle Plaisir (NZ) wins the Listed James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m). Photo: Grant Matthew

Saturday’s $50,000 Listed James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) at Awapuni was dominated by graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock Sales, and for the winner Belle Plaisir (NZ) (Proisir), it turned out to be a career-defining day on her home track. 

The four-year-old mare has now had 19 starts for four wins, five placings and $82,127 in stakes – more than double her $32,000 purchase price at Karaka 2018, and Saturday’s success at black-type level pushes her value even higher than that. Placegetters Quiz Kid (NZ) (Iffraaj) and Hartley (NZ) (Azamour) also went through the sale ring at Karaka in 2018 and 2015 respectively.

Belle Plaisir was ridden on Saturday by Kate Hercock, who kept Quiz Kid in her sights as the front-runner came up to the home turn with a commanding lead.

Hercock made her move in the straight and Belle Plaisir quickly reeled in Quiz Kid, surging past that rival and drawing away to win by a length and a quarter. Hartley finished the same margin away in third.

Belle Plaisir is trained locally by Lucy Tanner, who also shares ownership with Lance Hickman, who recruited her from Fairdale Stud’s draft at Karaka three years ago.

“That was just so exciting and quite emotional for me,” Tanner told NZ Racing Desk. “While I have a job outside of training, horses are my life. To win this race today is very special.

“She is a very, very good horse who hasn’t had a lot of luck with bad draws and the like. She won nicely at her last start and that gave her plenty of confidence, so I was expecting a good run from her, even though most of the critics seemed to have written her off.

“Everything fell into place, and to get a stakes victory after twice being fourth in Group Three company says so much about her quality and the ability she has.

“Lance (Hickman) and I have known each other for more than 25 years, and we have struck up an excellent relationship with the Fell family, who bred this mare.

“The plan all along has been to get a black-type win with Belle Plaisir, because she comes from a very nice family, including her half-brother Heavens Keep (NZ) (Savabeel) who won eight races for us.

“Now she has done that, she can go out for a decent break before I get her back for the spring, when I think she will be even better than she is now.”

Runner-up Quiz Kid was passed in at Karaka 2018, and he has now had four wins and seven placings from 20 starts. He has been a two-time stakes placegetter this season and has earned $69,452 to date.

Third-placed Hartley, meanwhile, has won seven races and $143,466 in his 31-start career – over six times his $23,000 purchase price at the 2015 National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale.

Vendor Fairdale Stud
Purchaser Mr LC Hickman (Manawatu)
Breeding Proisir – Eden
Sale Lot 806, Karaka 2018 Book 2, $32,000
Bred by D G B Fell