Beverly D. scouting report: Carla Bianca
Carla Bianca could just be reaching her peak for the maestro Dermot Weld.
Second to future champion colt Australia in her debut at two, the Moyglare Stud homebred next tried the Group 1 race of the same name and checked in a useful fourth to Rizeena, Tapestry and Kiyoshi.
Carla Bianca took time to hit her stride as a three-year-old, but once she did, she compiled a four-race winning streak capped by the Dance Design (G3) at the Curragh:
Weld’s comments to irishracing.com over the course of last summer are instructive, revealing how she’s developed with the passage of time:
“She was a big weak filly; she is starting to fill her frame.
“The ground is vital to her as she's a long striding filly who loves top of the ground. She's been progressing since the spring and was a bit slow to come to hand.
“She took time early and we paced it slow which has paid very good dividends. We'll take it one step at a time but we'll find a big one before the year's out. Physically she's developing all the time and is a filly who will make a lovely four-year-old.”
That background could be the key to analyzing her 2015 campaign, for Carla Bianca was once again not quite herself in the spring. She was a soundly beaten fourth in her return in the April 26 Victor McCalmont Memorial at Gowran. Although she surely needed the race off her eight-month layoff, she was also lugging a 138-pound impost, and spotting 17 pounds to her sophomore rivals. The result looks better in hindsight: the winner was Legatissimo, who went on to take the 1000 Guineas (G1), missed narrowly in the Oaks (G1) and Pretty Polly (G1), and just bounced back with a vengeance in the Nassau (G1). And the Victor McCalmont runner-up is none other than Beverly D. (G1) rival Wedding Vow.
Carla Bianca moved forward in her second start back in the June 14 Munster Oaks (G3), where she bumped into another classy sophomore in Words. Not only was she again shouldering 138 pounds (and conceding 17 pounds), but Carla Bianca was also trying 1 1/2 miles for the first time. She traveled well and struck the front, but Words mastered her late after a brief tussle. Words was a leading hope for the Irish Oaks (G1) (where she ultimately disappointed):
Just as last year, Carla Bianca’s third start off the layoff was the charm. Back down in trip to 1 1/8 miles for the Meld (G3) at Leopardstown, she defeated males in front-running fashion. Note that Meld runner-up Elleval is taking an ambitious tilt at the Arlington Million (G1). (Clip starts at 5:33.)
On paper, Carla Bianca’s form isn’t as compelling as that of defending Beverly D. champion Euro Charline, Secret Gesture, or Wedding Vow. But Weld must always be respected on his travels. As an improving filly, Carla Bianca has more to offer than we’ve seen so far, and she will get her ideal conditions here.
By the superb Dansili, Carla Bianca is out of a half-sister to multiple Irish highweight older mare Profound Beauty. Also in the family is Ribblesdale (G2) winner Irresistible Jewel, dam of another Ribblesdale heroine in Princess Highway and Irish St Leger (G1) victor Royal Diamond.
Photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos.