Dark and Stormy Strikes at Hastings

Pencarrow Racing enjoyed a winning double at yesterday’s Hastings meeting with Dark and Stormy (NZ) (Zabeel) breaking her maiden at only her third start in the $7,000 McDonald’s Hastings Maiden 1400m.

The three-year-old filly showed ability in her first two starts, finishing fifth on debut when racing greenly before running on strongly for third at her second start for trainers Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie.

Ridden by in-form jockey Johnathon Parkes, Dark and Stormy was made to settle outside the pace without cover with a lack of pace in the seven-horse field.

The daughter of Zabeel hit the front at the top of the straight as the leader faded. Challenges came from both inside and outside the filly and, even though she raced greenly, she proved superior to her rivals to record victory by a neck.

“I thought we had two really good winning chances and the team is just starting to come right after a bit of a tough start to the season,” remarked Ramsay.

“Dark and Stormy is certainly going to improve from that and be a lot better over a longer distance.

“She was a bit green yesterday, she doesn’t quite know what she is doing and is doing everything on raw ability at the moment. Even when she was cantering back she was gawking around.

“Johnathon Parkes said ‘when the penny drops with her she will be pretty smart.’ She will also be better with a cart into the race.

“Long-term, it will be nice to get to the New Zealand Oaks with her. All the riders that have ridden her have said she feels like she will get a trip and will end up a nice stayer.”

Owned by Peter Vela, Dark and Stormy was purchased by Pencarrow Stud for $200,000 at the 2012 Karaka Premier Sale from Curraghmore Stud.

Bred by Cambridge Hunt Ltd, Dark and Stormy is out of the stakes-performed mare Floridita (Fasliyev), a well-bred mare with an international pedigree and is closely related to Group 1 performed racehorses and sires Dr Devious (Ahonoora), Archway (Thatching), Royal Court (Sadler’s Wells) and Shinko King (Fairy King) along with a host of other stakes performers littered throughout the family.