A thrilling head-to-head finish got the rain-delayed Super Sunday feature programme under way at Greyville on the final day of the South African horseracing season. Ian Sturgeon was at his best to get the Avontuur-bred Var filly A Womens Way home by a nose to win the R300 000 Gr2 The Debutante.
An interrupted prep after losing a scheduled build-up run due to playing up at the start was not enough to stop trainer Duncan Howells’ magnificent filly from overcoming a wide draw at her first Greyville start – and to register some paddock-boosting black type in the process.
Shizam scooted off early to lead the charge with the very capable Sturgeon dropping A Womens Way in from her wide draw and some five lengths off the gallop.
Into the home run the fancied The Merry Widow had her path closed with those on the middle -outside finishing best.
Replacement rider Callan Murray looked to have timed it right on Arissa as the Gauteng visitor stormed into the lead, but A Womens Way was always lifting and she lengthened impressively.
In a drive to the wire, A Womens Way came right back at the gallant Arissa and got her nose down to win by a short head in a time of 72,91 secs.
She started at 14-1 to give the hometown boys a great start.
Debut winner La Revere came on powerfully from some way off for third, a neck in front of the favourite The Merry Widow, who had no luck in running.
The Sean Tarry-trained Water Lily Lake was slow off and caught the eye when running on late and only tiring in the final grind to run sixth and 4,45 lengths off.
Winning Form-sponsored trainer Duncan Howells confirmed that A Womens Way had played up in the gates at her scheduled night meeting start.
“She is a filly with a mind of her own. I thought she would fight on when that horse came to challenge her and this was a win full of merit,” he said.
A Womens Way is unbeaten in two starts and took her stakes earnings to R237 500.
A R500 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 purchase, she was bred by Avontuur and is a daughter of the perennial bright star Var – and is the first foal of the Gr3 winning Windrush mare, A Daughters Legacy, who won up to 2000m in her racing days with Riaan Van Reenen in the Cape.
Pencil the name in – the good-looking lady looks likely to stay on in time!
Gr2 The Debutante (SAf-Gr2)
Greyville, South Africa, July 31, R300k, 1200m, turf, soft, 1.12.91
1 – A WOMENS WAY (SAF), 56.0, b f 2, Var (USA) – A Daughters Legacy (SAF) by Windrush (USA). Owner Messrs Bruce le Roux & Tinus Gericke; Breeder Avontuur Farm; trainer DC Howells; jockey I Sturgeon
2 – Arissa (SAF), 56.0, b f 2, Silvano (GER) – Arabian Empress (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
3 – La Revere (SAF), 56.0, b f 2, Var (USA) – My Guiding Star (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
Margins: 0.10, 1.75, 0.10