Lot 944, a Proisir filly out of the three-time winning mare Sentito.  Photo: Trish Dunell

Kingsclere hoping Proisir lightning will strike twice

NZ Racing Desk
2 February 2024

Three years after purchasing multiple Group One winner Prowess from the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales, Cambridge trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood are hoping lightning might strike twice with the same Rich Hill Stud stallion.

The Kingsclere Stables team went to $150,000 on Thursday to secure Lot 944, a Proisir filly out of the three-time winning mare Sentito.

"We’ve checked out all the horses in both catalogues, and she was a filly we identified fairly early," James said. "She was a feminine filly and we have bought her for a group of ladies, so it was a good fit really.

"She is a smaller style of filly, but she has what I look for in any horse and that’s athleticism.

"People ask me what I look for and I ask them how long have they got, because I have been doing it for 40 years. But if I have to give it in one word, I say they have to be an athlete, and she was that.

"She is very feminine and ticked a lot of boxes. She isn’t overly big, but some of my best horses haven’t been big."

The purchase capped a successful week for the James/Wellwood team.

"We went well in Book 1," James said. "We were blown away a couple of times, but it was a strong sale and we bought some lovely horses.

"I think, when people get their head around what Entain has done for our industry in the last few months, it will have a flow-down effect. I can see a very wanting market in the 35-45 year-old professionals that, when they learn there is a lot of fun to be had in the industry and a chance to get a dollar return, I think in two to five years, we will see our industry turn around."

James also gave a glowing report on the stable's spectacular $1.5 million Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) winner Orchestral.

"She has bounced through that run really well," he said. "I've been lucky enough to win a lot of Group One races, but that had a special feel to it. To be able to do it twice in a row with fillies we have selected, we take a lot of pride in that.

"It hasn’t been the easiest journey, she wasn’t herself in the spring and we had her ready to go around Christmas time and put her on a float, and for some reason she didn’t want to travel that day and had to be scratched.

"We were going to run her on Boxing Day and she spiked a temperature, so the road has had a lot of bumps in it.

"We never took our eye off the end goal and she peaked on the day.

"Now she will most likely go to the Avondale Guineas (Gr.2, 2100m). As always, we look at the end goal and work backwards, and Sydney is our end goal.

“The Vinery Stud Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) is hopefully on the radar and then either the Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) or the Derby (Gr.1, 2400m).”

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