Flying filly now up to footing it with the best

4 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Unbeaten filly Miss Labasa (NZ) (Swiss Ace) has overcome frustrating feet issues to be treading a path toward a 3-year-old pot of gold.

She kept her perfect record intact with a third straight success at Awapuni on Saturday when she produced a bold performance off the front to confirm her place in the NZ$1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic at Ellerslie on January 26.

Miss Labasa won her first two starts in the early spring before her preparation ground to a halt and plans for a tilt at the G3 Wellington S. at Otaki were dashed.

“She probably had that race at her mercy to be fair, but these things happen.” - John Bary said.

“She probably had that race at her mercy to be fair, but these things happen,” trainer John Bary said.

“It all started with a stone bruise, there had been so much rain in the Hawke’s Bay through December, and then she ended up with bruised heels.

“She’s got a bit of a club foot in front, but it was the normal one we were initially having the problem with.

“She’s got raised shoes to get her heels off the ground and it’s working for her. It all wasn’t enough to put her right out and we kept her ticking over’

“She had an exhibition gallop at Hastings on New Year’s Day and that gave us confidence for Awapuni.” - John Bary.

“She had an exhibition gallop at Hastings on New Year’s Day and that gave us confidence for Awapuni.

“She was racing around 500kg and she’s put on 20kg, which is great. She can be a bit quirky, but she’s a lot more professional now.”

Miss Labasa worked early to assume control at Awapuni and the powerful filly gave a good kick into the straight for regular rider Johnathan Parkes. They weren’t troubled thereafter, coasting away with the age group event by two and a-half lengths.

“I think he could have taken a sit when he tried to go forward, but he’s the man on top and he’s done the job.” - John Bary.

“I think he could have taken a sit when he tried to go forward, but he’s the man on top and he’s done the job,” Bary said

Trainer, John Bary

“It’s a big thankyou to my staff as they’ve done a lot of soaking of her feet and things, so it has worked out all for the good.”

Miss Labasa will now make her next appearance in the 3-year-old feature at Ellerslie and Bary doesn’t see the switch to right-handed racing as an issue.

“We work and gallop two or three times a week the reverse way,” he said.

“You don’t get the chance to run for $1 million very often and I certainly think that she’s good enough to be there.” - John Bary.

“You don’t get the chance to run for $1 million very often and I certainly think that she’s good enough to be there.

“She probably needed to win on Saturday to get a few more points to get in the field so it’s job done.”

Miss Labasa was offered at Karaka by Wentwood Grange Stud and was purchased by the N & P Balia Trust for NZ$38,000.

Watch: Miss Labasa as a yearling

“Narendra was one of my original owners and I met him at the sales when he bought a horse called Desi Girl,” Bary said.

“He’s patient and understands racing so that makes my job a whole lot easier.” - John Bary.

“I was in my second year of training then. He’s a retired pharmacist from Auckland and a lovely guy. He’s patient and understands racing so that makes my job a whole lot easier.”

Desi Girl (NZ) (Keeper) won three races from Bary’s stable and Balia is also involved in the ownership of Miss Labasa’s stablemate Hugo The Boss (Stratum), the winner of four races.

Miss Labasa is a half-sister to Starvoia (Starcraft {NZ}), who won six races including the Listed Hazlett S. and was a multiple black type placegetter for trainers John and Karen Parsons. She was subsequently purchased by Waikato Stud as a broodmare prospect.

They are daughters of Savoia (Charge Forward), a daughter of the G1 South Australian Oaks winner Dowry (NZ) (Bahhare {USA}) and the family of the G1 Rosehill Guineas and G1 Canterbury Guineas winner Carnegie Express (Carnegie {IRE}) and the G1 Australian Oaks winner Our Sophia (NZ) (Noble Bijou {USA}.