IN Racing
O’Reilly mare an inspired piece of business
Modest purchase Bella Carolina has proved herself to be an exceptional investment for Mapperley Stud principal Simms Davison.
Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | November 28, 2023
Campionessa winning at Pukekohe.

Modest purchase Bella Carolina has proved herself to be an exceptional investment for Mapperley Stud principal Simms Davison.

Her value has skyrocketed since she was secured for just $6,000 out of Little Avondale Stud’s draft at the 2013 New Zealand Bloodstock Broodmare Sale with the bargain buy producing three stakes winners.

“She was a dark O’Reilly mare, he was doing such a great job and getting older at the time,” Davison said.

“I didn’t have a lot of money then and she was the sort of horse that I was targeting. She looked athletic, was by the right sire and looked like she would leave nice foals, so I bought her.”

Bella Carolina was purchased in foal to Per Incanto and the result was the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) winner Tennessee while her Time Test half-brother Leedox was successful in the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m).

But in between times, it’s their half-sister Campionessa who has proved to be the star of the show.

The Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained daughter of Mapperley resident Contributer added to her black-type record at Pukekohe on Saturday with victory in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).

“Bella Carolina’s left the three stakes winners so far and those mares are so hard to find,” Davison said.

“I’ve got a full-sister to Campionessa, which will go to the Sydney Easter Sale and she’s a similar type.”

Campionessa emerged as a serious stakes performer last season with success in the Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) at Riccarton in early November and the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.

She subsequently finished runner-up in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2050m).

“She’s been great and been so unlucky, she came up against the best male three-year-old (Sharp ‘N’ Smart) and best filly (Prowess) in the country in those Group Ones,” Davison said.

Campionessa is now likely to tackle the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) before another crack at a Group One title in the Zabeel Classic (2050m).

She was originally passed in at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale after failing to meet her $70,000 reserve.

“She made Book 1 and I really liked her, but she was passed in. She was typical of the line, but a bit finer boned and I didn’t know why she didn’t make the reserve so I thought I’d take her to Australia,” Davison said.

“The only sale I could get her in was the Magic Millions in June.”

She was offered through Westbury Stud’s draft but was again passed in before a deal was struck with Te Akau’s David Ellis for A$60,000 and Davison remained in the ownership group.

Mapperley enjoyed a top result back in Australia earlier this year when they sold Campionessa’s half-brother by Per Incanto with the Rosemont Alliance, Suman Hedge Bloodstock and Lindsay Park Racing signing the ticket at A$320,000.

“Unfortunately, the mare reabsorbed to Bivouac so she went back to Contributer and is in foal,” Davison said.

“He’s doing a great job with Maria Farina also winning two weeks ago (Listed Stewards Stakes, 1200m) and he’s got some big books coming through."

Mapperley Stud Simms Davison Bella Carolina Campionessa