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04 May 2014


Yesterday in Adelaide a little blonde filly nicknamed "Barbie" won at Morphetville Racecourse.  She won a Group 2 race, called the Sportingbet Classic on SA Derby Day.  The filly's 'real' name is Miracles of Life.  

I have an association with this beautiful little flaxen chestnut through my work with the Arrowfield Stud stallions and their long term client Teely Assets.  She's sired by one of "my boys" Not a Single Doubt, a nuggety stallion for whom I have a great deal of time and affection, and she's out of a mare called Dazzling Gizelle who will be sold at this month's Teeley Assets dispersal sale being conducted by Magic Millions.  I suppose the fact that "Barbie's" dam is sired by More Than Ready makes this filly feel even closer to me, having also photographed the gorgeous black stallion for Vinery Stud since 2008.

My mind rewinds back to January and February 2013 like it was yesterday.  I had flown to Melbourne on Monday 21st January last year.  I spent most of the week on my own because my sister and her family were having a beach holiday.  I joined them on the Thursday and Friday, but for most of the week I'd get myself busy with a few photographic assignments involving The Famous Pony.  I photographed her winning her 'comeback' unofficial trial on Tuesday 22nd at Sandown Racecourse, with the resulting images running all over the country.  I remember having dinner with my good friend Gary on the Wed night, it was the 23rd.  After a sleepless night I was up very early to photograph the Famous Pony at the beach on the 24th.  That was the morning I got hopelessly lost and disoriented coming back from the beach, somehow feeling upside down and back the front and heading in absolutely the wrong direction.

On the Saturday of that week I photographed this beautiful little filly for the very first time.  She was ridden in this race by Lauren Stokajovic, who also rode her to victory in the Blue Diamond Stakes a month later.  

Miracles of Life was spelled after her Blue Diamond triumph, but had been winless ever since.  She was so tiny and the big colts she was up against seemed so large.  She tried, but the brilliance of those 2 races was missing.  Her young trainer stuck loyally with Lauren and scratched his head.  Was the filly not right, or was she just too little?  I hated to think it was the latter.

Lauren wasn't riding "Barbie" yesterday.  I feel very sorry for Lauren because she loves this filly so.  "Barbie" will be sold, along with many of the other Teely Assets bloodstock, at the Magic Millions sale.

This filly has been a "Miracle" for a great many people.  I hope her new owners will treasure her and realise how special this tiny little filly is.  I admit that I am hoping Arrowfield will buy her to allow "Barbie" to live out her days at their beautiful farm.

Miracles of Life winning the Blue Diamond Prelude on 26 January 2013

G1 triumph for "Barbie" and Lauren in the Blue Diamond Stakes in February.

"Barbie" resumed with a struggling 6th at Flemington on Australian Guineas Day.  Corey Brown rode her.  It was strange to see another rider on her.  He didn't look quite 'right' on her.
After this effort the filly returned to Morphetville and Clarken freshened her up a little. 

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