Valuable Australian Group win for Proisir Mare Belle Plaisir

Media Release - Saturday May 21

On the anniversary of her first stakes win in last year’s Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m), classy New Zealand mare Belle Plaisir doubled her black-type tally with a powerful come-from-behind performance in Saturday’s Gr.3 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville.

Belle Plaisir dashes along the rail to win the Gr.3 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville Photo Credit: Atkins Photography

A four-time winner from 19 New Zealand starts from the Awapuni stable of her part-owner Lucy Tanner, the daughter of Proisir was partially sold to Kildalton Park Racing last spring and crossed the Tasman to join the stable of Tony and Calvin McEvoy.

She has wasted no time in making her presence felt in Australia, never finishing further back than fifth in six starts to date. Along with a win at Oakbank and a placing at Cranbourne, she also finished fourth in the Gr.2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville, fourth in the Gr.3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) at Flemington and fifth in the Listed Black Pearl Stakes (1200m) at Geelong.


But it was Saturday’s R A Lee Stakes at Morphettville that provided the black-type success Belle Plaisir’s trans-Tasman connections had been craving.

Given a ground-saving rails run by jockey Barend Vorster, Belle Plaisir came from second-last with a determined surge down the straight. Cherry Tortoni loomed ominously out wide and appeared to be travelling the better of the two, but Belle Plaisir rose to his challenge and held him out in a driving finish.

Adding to the New Zealand flavour of the race, the fast-finishing third placegetter Excelida races in the colours of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

Tony McEvoy has been delighted with Belle Plaisir’s performances since her arrival in Australia.

“God bless her – she’s a really good little mare who came over from New Zealand,” he said. “Lucy Tanner and her co-owner (Lance Hickman) sent her over to us, and she’s raced really well for us. To win a Group Three with this mare today is very special.

“She was a Listed winner in New Zealand and also had form around some good-quality horses who had come across to Australia and run well, so we knew that she had what it took.”

The stable will now consider a trip to Queensland for the A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.

“She still, to this day, hasn’t had track conditions to really suit her in Australia,” McEvoy said. “She loves getting into the ground, and it just hasn’t rained enough, so we’ll see – we might take her north.

“It’s raining a lot up there, and there’s a fillies and mares’ race worth half a million dollars in a fortnight, so we’ll just see how she comes through this and then try to get her up there.”

Belle Plaisir was bred by Fairdale Stud’s Duncan Fell and was offered in Book 2 of Karaka 2018, where Lance Hickman secured her for $32,000. Saturday’s win, the sixth of her 25-start career, raised her career earnings to A$226,566.

Belle Plaisir added to a strong recent run in Australia for Rich Hill Stud stallion Proisir, who was also represented by last week’s Gr.3 Rough Habit Plate (2143m) winner Dark Destroyer. – NZ Racing Desk


Race Result - R A Lee Stakes Gr3 1600m

Morphettville Track: Good(4) Time: 1:35.82
Belle Plaisir
T: T & C McEvoy J: B Vorster 53.5
5m Proisir (AUS) x Eden (AUS) (Zeditave (AUS))
NZB Karaka - Book 2 $32,000
V:Fairdale Stud
B: Mr LC Hickman
Cherry Tortoni
T: Patrick Payne J: M J Dee 57.5
4g Night Of Thunder (IRE) x Tortoni (AUS) (Strategic (AUS))
T: Ben & J D Hayes J: Jamie Kah 53
5m Exceed And Excel (AUS) x Lady Sayyida (NZ) (Iffraaj (GB))
Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale $460,000
V:Trelawney Stud, Cambridge, NZ
B: B & J Lindsay
Royal Mile
T: L A Creek J: Jacob Opperman 56.5
4g Danerich (AUS) x Street Blaze (AUS) (Street Sense (USA))
MM Adelaide Yearling Sale Session 1 $26,000
V:Wellington Park North Violet Town Vic
B: Lee Creek
Struck By
T: Travis Doudle J: P Gatt 55.5
4g Barbados (AUS) x Cheers Rihanna (AUS) (General Nediym (AUS))
MM Adelaide Yearling Sale Session 1 $26,000
V:Ducatoon Park Kadina SA
B: Travis Doudle
T: L Macdonald & A Gluyas J: J Holder 55
5h Dalakhani (IRE) x Khandallah (AUS) (Kitten's Joy (USA))
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale $80,000
V:Mill Park Stud, Meningie, SA
B: L M & P J Macdonald Pty Ltd
T: R W Huxtable J: Jessica Eaton 55
5g Fiorente (IRE) x Family Portrait (AUS) (Excellent Art (GB))
One More Jack
T: T T Oxlade J: J Potter 55.5
6g Typhon (AUS) x Husson Spirit (AUS) (Hussonet (USA))
My Mate Sonny
T: Ms S Williams J: Ms C Jones 55
5g Glass Harmonium (IRE) x Shady Jade (AUS) (Akhadan (AUS))
T: C Maher & D Eustace J: John Allen 56.5
6g Reset (AUS) x Palatine Hill (AUS) (Palace Music (USA))
Danish Fortune
T: W T Wilkes J: Will Price 55
4g Magnus (AUS) x Footsteps Of God (AUS) (Blackfriars (AUS))
MM February Online Sale $28,000
B: Darren McLeod
MM Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale $140,000
V:Grandview, Peak Crossing, Qld
B: Darren Tsang
MM Adelaide Yearling Sale Session 1 $42,500
V:Princess Park Thoroughbred Farm Nagambie Vic
B: International Thoroughbreds
Inglis Great Southern Sale - Weanlings $28,000
V:Tarcoola Stud, Tuerong
B: Princess Park / Sheamus Mills Bloodstock Pty Ltd (FBAA)
T: Travis Doudle J: D Tourneur 55
8g Echoes Of Heaven (AUS) x Replicate (NZ) (Towkay (AUS))
NZB Ready To Run Sale of 2YOs $57,500
V:Kiltannon Stables Ltd
B: Vermair Racing
T: Ms S Murphy J: D Moor 55
6g Frankel (GB) x Rostova (AUS) (Testa Rossa (AUS))
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