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Taunton: Francesca filly maintains progression

IT proved to be hard work but 4/6 shot Balerina got favourite backers off to a good start at Taunton on Monday when overcoming the 100/1 outsider Racey Lacey (by Loup Sauvage) to take the opening fillies' juvenile hurdle by a head.

Bred by Mathieu Lalanne in France, Balerina is from the second crop of Della Francesca, a Danzig half-brother to Bernstein who was trained by Aidan O'Brien to run third in the 2002 Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Balerina was one of her sire's flagbearers on the Flat, taking a Listed event at Marseille-Borely in November 2009. However, the early indications point to Della Francesca making more of an impact in the jumping sphere; Balerina is one of 26 winning jumpers by the stallion, a tally which also includes the Group 1-placed Cristal Bonus.

Della Francesca stands at Haras de la Haie Neuve for €2,500.

A half-sister to minor French Flat winner Santoblue (by Russian Blue), Balerina is out of the placed Kendor mare Santa Marina, a half-sister to the Listed-placed Helen's Gamble. She was a €15,000 purchase by Keven Borgel at the 2008 Arqana October Yearling Sale.




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