Grand De Flora impressive on Aussie debut

Grand De Flora winning at Seymour

Waikato Stud bred and raced filly Grand De Flora (NZ) (Savabeel) commenced her Australian career in fine style for trainer Danny O’Brien with a six-length victory at Seymour on Thursday.

Grand De Flora ($1.90 favourite), a daughter of Savabeel out of dual Group One winner Daffodil, box-seated under Daniel Moor before blasting clear in the straight to win her Benchmark 58 handicap over 1411 metres.

“She’s definitely got a liking for the ground and she had a bit of a blow afterwards, which suggests there might be a bit of improvement there,” said Moor.

Grand De Flora won one of three starts for Cambridge trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood before being exported to Australia in late February.

She made a winning debut in November and then ran two respectable races in Stakes company, the last of them when held up badly in the straight at her final New Zealand start as she finished 10th in the G3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) on January 18.

Five-time New Zealand champion sire Savabeel stands at Waikato Stud for NZ$100,000 (plus GST), while Daffodil won the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and Gr.1 Windsor Park Stakes (1600m) in 2009.

Moor has ridden four winners since returning to Victorian riding ranks from Singapore three weeks ago.

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