IN Racing
Chantilly Lace more than a pretty face
There's a family tradition for Chrissy Bambry to uphold in Saturday's Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1200m) with talented filly Chantilly Lace but the Foxton trainer also has the bigger picture in mind.
Aidan Rodley, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | September 01, 2023
Photo: Race Images

There's a family tradition for Chrissy Bambry to uphold in Saturday's Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1200m) with talented filly Chantilly Lace but the Foxton trainer also has the bigger picture in mind.

Bambry races US Navy Flag filly Chantilly Lace with her parents Tony and Judith, her dad Tony having previously won the Wanganui Guineas with Lord Turbo in 2013 and Alcadesa in 2015.

"Princess Biddy ran third for me two years ago so it has been a race that's been pretty good to us," Bambry said.

Wanganui has proved a happy hunting ground for Bambry too, winning 10 races from 49 starters, among those wins Chantilly Lace's 10-length rout in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) in June.

"I've had a lot of luck at the Wanganui course. When she won the Castletown Stakes, this filly was rock hard fit. She was the best horse on the day and the fittest horse on the day."

With Chantilly Lace having not raced since the Castletown Stakes, Bambry said she could be vulnerable to rivals with superior race fitness on Saturday.

But she's been delighted with both of Chantilly Lace's leadup trials and said her class should see her competitive.

"There's a few in there who ran in the Ryder and that might give them the fitness edge on us but if the track keeps drying out, it will suit us," Bambry said.

"She's come back really well. She had a month in the paddock, then we just trained her from the big paddock just to give her a little bit more time out.

"She did super with the time off. She's grown a bit. But she just loves the routine and she gets a bit antsy at the gate in the afternoon if you don't bring her in early enough.

"She's had a couple of trials but she hasn't done much between them so she's probably going into this one still a little bit fat inside. She'll definitely improve with this run but she's been trialling super and loves that track so it would be nice to be in the top three again."

Chantilly Lace has won two of her eight starts, as well as placing in the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe and finishing a meritorious fifth in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni, beaten just 2 1/2 lengths.

TAB bookmakers have made her a shortening $2.80 favourite for the Wanganui Guineas, a kick-off point that could see her on a path towards the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 17 where she is currently placed in the market at $16.

Bambry wasn't ruling out a second-up tilt at Saturday week's Gr.3 HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders Association Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings either.

"We'll get through tomorrow first but we're not averse to backing up next week in the Gold Trail because she's shown she can back up and we know there's a lot of improvement in her," Bambry said.

"At this stage we'll just pick out way through the spring three-year-old races, chasing black-type. We'll just see how she comes up through the spring before we decide on Christchuch.

"Group One form for her broodmare page is invaluable so if she is stepping up, we'll probably head that way. She's a real professional. She just wants to work. She's a ripper."

The Bambry family and bloodstock agent Paul Moroney paid $66,000 for Chantilly Lace through the Valachi Downs Dispersal Sale, conducted on the platform.

"We bought Chantilly Lace to be a broodmare for us hopefully one day. I couldn't get up there to look at them all but Paul Moroney gave me a shortlist of 12," Bambry said.

"Andrew (Lacy, Bambry's partner) and I were up for the Tauranga races and so we shot across to Matamata and inspected those dozen horses. She was the one I really wanted so we were lucky that she was the one we were able to get.

"Because we owned her, the first couple of starts last season were about getting the education under her belt. She got better and better through the season. 

"Lily (Sutherland, jockey) said to me the other day at the trials that she couldn't believe how kind and quiet she is now. She's so relaxed that Lily has got to give her a reminder on her shoulder to keep her switched on. 

"It's a sign though that she will get over a bit more ground. She's so push button that there's no reason she couldn't develop into an Oaks filly."

Bambry will also saddle stakes-winning mare Flower Of Wanaka for the Sound Electrical 1200 at Wanganui and Hamish in the Flair Daffodil Day Amateur Riders (2100m) at Hawera on Sunday.

She was pleased with Flower Of Wanaka, who could earn a start in the Gr.3 Grangewilliam Stud Taranaki Breeders' Stakes (1400m) at Hawera on October 7 with a bold run.

Chantilly Lace Chrissy Bambry Lily Sutherland