Arma Indie Favoured at WA Debut
Astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed is aiming to win the $50,000 Westral Daintys Daughter Classic for a record-equalling third time when high-priced New Zealand-bred filly Arma Indie contests the Group 2 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Arma Indie arrived in Perth less than two weeks ago and she has the raw ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in the field of nine at her first appearance in Australia.
She and the Colin Brown-trained and driven Typhoon Tiff are likely to dominate betting on the 2130m event in which the connections of all runners are anxious to press claims for a start in the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 3.
Arma Indie was purchased three weeks ago by Jim and Wilma Giumelli from owner-breeders Davinia Harrison and Johnny Mathers for what they (the owners) described as a “sizeable” figure.
Co-trainer David Butt said that Arma Indie had come back as a three-year-old stronger and more sensible than she was as a two-year-old when she raced eight times for no wins, one second and two thirds.
Arma Indie ended her two-year-old campaign on a high note at Cambridge last June when she was a 72/1 outsider and finished second to the classy Princess Tiffany in the Group 1 Diamond Classic when the quarters were covered in 27.7sec., 30.7sec., 27.6sec. and 28.2sec. She revealed excellent gate speed and took the lead after 450m before sitting behind the pacemaker Princess Tiffany 400m later. She fought on with admirable spirit.
The filly resumed after a spell and an absence of exactly seven months when she started from the No. 1 barrier and led for the first 450m before taking a sit in a 2000m event at Otago on January 2. Taking full advantage of the sprint lane Arma Indie burst to the front 120m from the post and won by more than two lengths from Vergeofgreatness, rating 2.1.6, with a final quarter of 28.6sec.
She started from barrier No. 6 over 2200m at Invercargill on January 10. She began speedily and dashed to the front after 250m before taking a sit 400m later. She then regained the lead with 1100m to travel and went on to win in fine style from the fast-finishing colt Mighty Flying Art. Arma Indie rated 1.59.4 and covered the final 40m section in 27.7sec.
Arma Indie is by American stallion Well Said and is the second foal (and only one to have raced) out of Arma Courage, who won three minor races and $17,410 from 21 starts.
Arma Indie is closely related to Armalight, an outstanding mare who had 36 starts for 18 wins, 11 placings and $277,520 in prizemoney. Armalight, the New Zealand Horse of the Year in 1982, won seven Group 1 events, including the New Zealand Oaks at New Brighton in April 1980, the New Zealand Cup at Addington in November 1981 and the Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park in February 1983.
Mark Reed will drive Arma Indie for his father, who has trained the winner of the Daintys Daughter Classic with Sheer Royalty (driven by Chris Lewis) in 2009 and Maczaffair (driven by Shannon Suvaljkjo) in 2017.
Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr holds the record with three winners of the classic Majorly Foxy Styx (2014), Nuala (2015) and Slick Artist (2018).
Brown has won the Daintys Daughter Classic twice. He was successful with the Deb Sweet-trained Centrefold Angel in 2010 and he prepared 8/1 chance Gota Good Lookadda, who led and beat 6/4 on favourite Bettor Dreams by a half-length.
Centrefold Angel, a 3/1 chance, showed great courage to race in the breeze before getting to the front on the home turn and beating the 5/4 favourite Ella Sue by a head. Centrefold Angel was owned by Colleen Lindsay, who bred and owns Typhoon Tiff, who will start from barrier five on Friday night.
Mrs Lindsay also bred and owns Typhoon Tiff’s full sister Tiffany Twirl, who was a 75/1 chance when she finished eighth behind Slick Artist in last year’s Daintys Daughter Classic.
Typhoon Tiff was produced in outstanding shape by Brown for her first-up run at Pinjarra last Monday week. She led from barrier three and gave an outstanding frontrunning exhibition to win by 8m from Dracarys, rating 1.55.2 over 1684m, with final quarters of 26.7sec. and 27.8sec.
That was Typhoon Tiff’s first outing since she raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing a neck second to Majorpride in the Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies last June.
Gary Hall Jnr has been engaged by Busselton trainer Barry Howlett to drive Millwood Gucci for the first time. The filly, a winner this year at Bunbury and Albany, steps up a lot in class, but has place prospects from the coveted No. 1 barrier.
Mandy Joan, a winner at two of her nine starts for Byford trainer David Thompson, will be having her first start since August, but also has place prospects from barrier No. 3. She dashed over the final quarters of a 23150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning in 28.5sec. and 27.9sec. She will be handled by Dylan Egerton-Green.
Champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond and leading reinsman Ryan Warwick, who combined for the fighting head victory by Dodolicious in the 2016 Daintys Daughter Classic, will be pinning their faith in Starlight Destiny, an all-the-way Northam winner over 1780m last Saturday night. Starlight Destiny will need a shade of luck from barrier seven, but she is an ultra-consistent filly who has had 15 starts for five wins, six seconds and three thirds.