Little Elsa landed the first win for Darley Victoria’s first crop sire Skilled in Hobart on Sunday.
After jumping smartly, Little Elsa took control of the Sparks Business Development Maiden (1000m) and was untroubled to score by more than two lengths from Gee Gee Mightymiss (Wordsmith) and Crowbar (Grey Swallow).
“I knew she could go fast but I didn’t know for how far,” Brighton based owner-trainer Terry Evans said. “She worked with Concrete Johnny last week and kept up with him.”
Little Elsa’s task was made easier when $1.30 favourite Strike For Victory (Smart Missile) refused to load. “Bad luck for those owners,” Evans said. “But the locker was getting empty and I will take it.”
The striking black filly is the fourth winner from Walvis Bay (Cape Cross) following Miss Elsa (Casino Prince), Orange River (Turffontein) and Turtles Nest (Turffontein). The NZ bred mare foaled a colt by Darley Victoria sire Kuroshio in August.
Skilled (Commands) was a three-time winner as a juvenile capping the season with a Group 1 victory in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. The winning time of 1:36.29s was the second fastest by a colt since the race was first run over a mile in 1972.
He returned at three and was headed in the shadows of the G1 Randwick Guineas by Ilovethiscity. That was one of six stakes placings during the season before he was retired to Darley’s Victorian base at Northwood Park.
Little Elsa was just the second runner for the sire who has relatively large crops of foals in coming years.
Skilled is by Danehill’s Champion Australian son Commands from G2 Sandown Guineas winner Dextrous (Quest For Fame). Darley stood him for a $6,600 (inc gst) fee last year.