Balaklava winner Pleats was one of the best bred and most expensive horses racing in Australia on Sunday. The French import is raced by Tony Santic and cost 140,000 euros (AUD 236,000) at the Arqana Foal Sale in December 2006.
Pleats (4m Green Desert – Lady Bex by Sadler’s Wells) was facing the starter for the fourth time in the Bardrill Maiden Plate (2200m) at Balaklava and it was the first occasion she had been past a mile. The Lindsay Park filly sat outside odds-on favourite Burgundy Notes and surged clear to score by three lengths.
Santic has a second-to-none record with European bred fillies starting with legendary mare Makybe Diva. He brought the three-time Melbourne Cup winner to Australia after she failed to reach a 19,000gns (AUD 50,300) reserve at the Tattersalls Foal Sale in December 1999 .
Pleats is by champion sire Green Desert (Danzig). A G1 winner of the July Cup at Newmarket, his sons at stud include Oasis Dream, Invincible Spirit, Desert Prince and Darley stallion Cape Cross who furthered the sireline courtesy of champion colt Sea The Stars.
Pleats is from a winning daughter of Bex (Explodent). A G3 winner at Saint-Cloud, she foaled the French stakes winners Crimson Quest (Rainbow Quest), Ballarat (Sadler’s Wells) and Hijaz (Sadler’s Wells) plus Irish Listed winner Savethisdanceforme (Danehill Dancer).
Pleats is an older half-sister to Dubawi Junior who was one of 34 first-crop winners sired by Dubawi in Europe last year. Their dam has a 2yo filly by Dalakhani and a yearling filly by Danehill Dancer.
Santic collected $6,700 for yesterday’s win and the Makybe Man will be happy if Pleats just pays the training bills before heading off to stud. Her residual value will make up for any arrears at the races.