An impressive Group II win in the $100,000 Stella Artois Royal Stakes (2000m) made She Brings Joy (NZ) (Sebring) one of the stars of the recent Ellerslie Christmas carnival, and a half-brother to the exciting filly will go through the ring at Karaka 2017.
Throughout this season, She Brings Joy's connections have made no secret of their high regard for the filly. But things had not gone her way early in her racing career and she was still a maiden after her first three starts.
Nevertheless, trainer Stephen Marsh had enough faith in the filly's potential to follow the same path to the Royal Stakes that he took with former star fillies Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel), who ran second in 2014, and Sofia Rosa (NZ) (Makfi), who won it last year.
She Brings Joy justified that faith with the type of top-class performance her connections have always known she was capable of. Ridden by Danielle Johnson, she produced a determined finish off a slow pace to wear down the front-running Adis (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) and score by half a head.
"I can't believe this horse was still a maiden," Marsh said. "She's been probably our most promising maiden for a long time.
"I thought she'd win first up and then second up but it's just those bad draws that have plagued us. Finally today she drew a barrier.
"She has got a nomination for the Oaks, so that's our real focus now."
She Brings Joy carries the distinctive gold and blue colours of her owner-breeder Kevin Hickman.
She Brings Joy and her half-brother are out of the Irish-bred Hawk Wing mare In The Mood , who descends from Group One performer Grecian Urn (Ela-Mana-Mou).NZB Release