Promising three-year-old filly Lelawala (NZ) (Niagara) scored in good style at Pukekohe on Wednesday, dashing away in the concluding stages under apprentice Darren Dannis to take out the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1200m) at just her second start.
Prepared by trainer Chris Wood, Lelawala had finished a good second on debut at Rotorua yet still paid a tidy dividend of $15 when saluting.
“She’s a nice progressive filly. I won’t throw her in the deep end just yet. She’s got plenty of ability and I have always liked her,” Wood said.
“She went a very good race first-up at Rotorua and today she just showed what she has got. She is a filly with plenty of upside and plenty to look forward to.”
Sharing in the ownership in the daughter of Niagara are Wood’s sons Johnty and Thomas, the latter well-known race caller currently plying his trade in Hong Kong.
“It’s nice to have them in it,” Wood said.
“Phil Proverbs and I bred the filly and when it came time to racing her, I put a couple of good friends Ken Green and Keith Smith into her. My two boys and Phil are in the horse and it’s nice to have good people involved.”
Wood was confident the filly would get a mile or beyond in time.
“There are a few nice races coming up over Christmas time, but I will just do what’s best for her,” he said.
Stablemate Side Eye was only nabbed late when finishing second in a 1400m maiden later in the day.
“He was a horse I bought in Scone for not a lot of money and he is a nice progressive horse too. First time in blinkers today worked well,” Wood said.