Joey Ramsden and Greg Cheyne drew first blood on the opening day of the inaugural L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival at a windswept Kenilworth on Friday when the scopy Silvano filly Epona gave notice of better things to come with a smart win in the R150 000 Listed Jamaica Handicap.
Hitting the front at the 250m marker, Epona galloped strongly to get the better of the year older Louisiana by 2 lengths in a time of 126,58 secs.
Nima finished best of the Snaith runners to grab third, a further 0,40 lengths back.
The Avontuur-sponsored Greg Cheyne, who enjoyed a successful festival, labelled Epona ‘a well-related filly on the up’.
“She is going to be a top filly next year,” said the senior Cape rider, who currently leads the SA national log.
Trainer Joey Ramsden was in high spirits, saying that the two day festival was a huge plus.
“Epona will enjoy 2000m plus as her optimum trip – she’s a smashing filly and watch her in three or four months time,” said the astute conditioner.
Mayfair Speculators Racing Manager Derek Brugman said that the 3yo Epona ‘was up there with the bigger ones around over ground’.
The Klawervlei Stud-bred Epona is a daughter of Silvano out of the Al Mufti mare, Laptop Lady.
That makes her a half-sister to Camden Park stallion Jay Peg, who stands at the same farm.
Epona, who was registering her first stakes success, was a R1,8 million Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale graduate and has won 3 races with 3 places from 7 starts for stakes of R203 450.