Sunspeed breeder Neven Botica will showcase the first NZ bred yearling by his French Group 3 winner Dalghar at the Karaka Premier Sale on Monday.
The prominent Perth businessman stands Dalghar at Brighthill Farm and his colt from G1 Thorndon Mile winner Macavelli Miss parades as Lot 40.
Dalghar (Fr) signals a change of tack for Botica who has enjoyed phenomenal success in harness racing with the likes of Sundons Gift, Take A Moment and Mister DG.
“I’ve been very lucky with the trotters over the years,” Botica said. “I bought Sundons Gift for $24,000 as a yearling in New Zealand – he won 41 races and is in the Hall Of Fame. Take A Moment won two Inter-Dominions and Mister DG won a Hunter Cup.”
Closer to home, he won the 2006 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park with Dilingers Reign.
Botica grew up in Perth’s western suburbs at Innaloo and there’s a rich racing pedigree in his family. “My grandfather Nick snr was a bookie at the races and my father Nick jnr fielded at the trots. Grandad raced horses and I guess the best of them was The Burglar who won a Farnley Quality here as well races in Melbourne back in the 1960s.
“I was always at the races as a young bloke and loved travelling to places like Kalgoorlie for the round.”
Neven didn’t follow suit as a satchel-swinger preferring to build up a business in the mining industry to fund his racing portfolio. “We raced Moatize with Bart Cummings and he qualified for the 2008 Melbourne Cup after winning the Saab Quality. But Bart won it with the stablemate Viewed.”
Botica also part-owns Strike The Stars with Anthony Cummings. He won the G3 Gloaming Stakes in Sydney before transferring to Dan Morton in Perth. Stablemate Fast Flowing (Dubawi) is another to wear his red, white and gold colours to victory at Ascot.
“Dalghar is my first venture into the stallion side of the business,” Botica explained. “He was raced by His Highness the Aga Khan and was a brilliant sprinter-miler.”
A grey stallion with plenty of bone and a real stallion’s head, he is a half-brother to European Horse of the Year Daylami and Arc de Triomphe winner Dalakhani.
Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, Dalghar won a Maisons-Laffitte juvenile in October 2008 and followed up with a placing in the G2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte.
He resumed as a late-season three-year-old with a Listed victory the Prix Luthier at Deauville and was back in the winning groove at four with a Group 3 in the Prix du Palais-Royal at Longchamp. He ran a record 1.17.40s for 1400 metres in the latter and clocked a sizzling 9.70s for the final furlong!
The following year Dalghar went out third favourite for the G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Coolmore mare Bewitched and Aussie raider Star Witness. “He drew the grandstand rail on a heavy track,” Botica recalled. “There was a definite bias and none of the horses on that side of the course figured in the finish.
“I stood him at Haras de Saint Arnoult for a season and they will start racing this year. I have a couple in training in France and another one with Andrew Balding at Kingsclere in England.”
Brighthill Stud’s Nick and Anne-Marie King will offer two other Dalghar colts at the Karaka Premier Sale. They are from LR Ryder Stakes winner Penny Arcade (Lot 109) and G1 Sydney Cup winner Honor Babe (Lot 422).
– Karl Patterson