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  • Writer's pictureMapperley Stud


Mapperley Stud proprietor Simms Davison is eagerly awaiting Bella Carolina’s (O’Reilly x Kelly Flinn) return home to New Zealand.

The mare will arrive with her Contributer (IRE) filly foal, a full-sister to the recent Listed CJC Metropolitan Handicap winner Campionessa.

“She leaves lovely horses,” said Davison of the mare who from six named foals, has had five winners with three of them now stakes winners.

“I bought her for $6,000 from the New Zealand Bloodstock Broodmare sale in 2013 from Little Avondale, in foal to Per Incanto. She was a good-looking O’Reilly mare, from a lovely family, in foal to a first season sire and I thought I couldn’t go wrong.

“I think I have returned the favour to Sam (Williams) though, as that foal was Tennessee who was Per Incanto’s first stakes winner and last season another of her foals, Leedox, was Time Test’s first Southern Hemisphere stakes winner.”

By O’Reilly, Bella Carolina was the winner of three races and descends from one of the Williams family’s famous pedigree lines. It’s a branch of the very successful “Flight Family” whose foundation matriarch Francolin (Paper Money [GB] - Philomela) was involved in a scandal in the early 1930’s where sh, along with two other well fancied runners, was allegedly poisoned on the eve of the Riverton Easter meeting. Needless to say, all three survived and she left an impressive dynasty of winners.

Bella Carolina is out of the Centaine (AUS) mare Kelly Flinn who was herself a sister to Flying Flight, a stakes placed winner of eight races in Australia, and a half-sister to the Gr.1 AJC Metropolitan Handicap winner Dress Circle (by Zabeel).

Their dam was Flight Queen (by Noble Bijou[GB]), a winner of eight races including the Listed Wairarapa Breeders Stakes and was Group Three placed twice. She was the dam of 11 named foals, with eight of them being winners. She in turn is out of Country Flight who won eight races and was stakes placed in the Captain Cook Stakes.

Country Flight produced eight foals, seven of whom were winners including Cashelmara who is the dam of the Gr.1 ARC Easter Handicap winner Carson’s Cash, and the stakes placed winner Frisco Ann.

Fast forward to this century and Tennessee, the first foal out of Bella Carolina, was sold to the late Trevor McKee for $15,000 at the 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock Festival Sale. She went on to win the Listed WRC Wellesley Stakes and also ran fourth in the Gr.1 ARC Diamond Stakes and Gr.3 ARC Eclipse Stakes before being sold to Australia.

Following Tennessee Bella Carolina went to Mapperley’s resident sire He’s Remarkable for two years running. The first foal was He’s McCaw who was sold for $30,000 as a yearling and placed in Australia, followed by $80,000 yearling Maestro who has won four races in Malaysia.

The next foal was Campionessa from the first crop of the Mapperley’s High Chaparral (IRE) stallion Contributer (IRE). She is now the winner of six races including the Listed CJC Metropolitan Handicap, and at her previous start she was second in the Listed CJC Spring Classic behind another daughter of Contributer in Elizabeth Rose (ex Scarlet Queen [AUS]).

“She was a pretty good yearling, a good representative of the stallion and the mare,” Davison recalled of Campionessa.

“I took her to Karaka but passed her in. She was a nice filly and I didn’t want to give her away. So, I took her to the Gold Coast four months later. I hadn’t sold at the Gold Coast before and David Ellis bought her for $60,000 which is what I wanted for her in the first place. I stayed in for 10% as well so that makes her win in the Metropolitan a little sweeter.”

Bella Carolina’s next foal, also by Contributer, failed to meet his reserve as a yearling as well but sold as a two-year-old in the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale for $170,000 to the bid of Mark Newnham Bloodstock. From his sable he has won three races as Aramis.

Then in 2021 Mapperley Stud presented Leedox (by Time Test) who was purchased for JML Bloodstock by Bruce Perry for $220,000. As a two-year-old last season he won the Listed ATR Auckland Futurity Stakes and this season ran fourth in the Gr.2 HBJC Hawkes Bay Guineas.

Bella Carolina didn’t have a foal in 2020, but returned to Per Incanto that year.

“We’ve got a Per Incanto yearling to take to the Easter Sales,” Davison said. “He is a little ripper, I’m quite excited about taking a nice colt by Per Incanto to Sydney in the autumn.

“She has been a great mare in the sale ring and it just shows that sometimes for a small amount of money you can get a good result like that. Afterall not many mares leave three stakes winners.”

-Michelle Saba, NZTBA

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