Illicit Dreams remained unbeaten this preparation following her gallant victory in the Listed Champagne Stakes over 1200 metres at Riccarton.
A graduate of Westbury Stud’s class of 2022 at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale, the two-year-old daughter of Vancouver had placed in one of three outings during her first campaign.
She was then given a break by trainers Kenny Rae and Krystal Williams and resumed in style at Ruakaka last month with a comprehensive front-running performance.
The Gerry Harvey-bred Illicit Dreams again made her own luck at Riccarton and the daughter of Vancouver dug in determinedly for rider Tegan Newman in the run home to earn the thick end of the stake.
Rae was delighted with the result and took his mind off his own injury woes.
“I made the trip down here, broken leg and all, so to get a result like this is very special,” he said.
“I was shoeing a horse about a month ago and managed to break my lower tibia, so I’ve got the cast on and have had to work out how to get around.
“This filly has always shown us some ability, but I made a mistake early on with her, which could have cost us, as I travelled her down here after she ran second on debut at Wanganui and it may have been a little too much for her.
“We took her home and put her away and when we brought her back last month, we put the blinkers on and boy, did they do the job.”
Illicit Dreams was bought out of Westbury’s Book 2 consignment at Karaka by Rae Racing for $30,000 and is the second foal of the Snitzel mare Illicit Romance.
She is out of a half-sister to the Group 3 winners Sheer Talent, who also placed in the Group 1 Australian Guineas, Kittens and Saint Encosta.