David Nieuwenhuizen and Gavin Lerena got the Charity Mile day feature action at Turffontein on Saturday off to a flyer when the Querari daughter Mill Queen franked last season’s 2yo form with a courageous victory in the R200 000 HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco Gr3 Starling Stakes.
A runner-up behind the top-class Gabor in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes on Super Saturday, Gavin Lerena took full advantage of Mill Queen’s favourable pole position draw as she was positioned in the box seat behind Wisteria Walk and Lady Legend.
The previously unbeaten Wisteria Walk had worked hard to get over from the widest draw and her work-rate took its toll at the 200m as she just ran out of puff with Mill Queen running fresh and full of enthusiasm.
The 18-10 favourite got the better of the duel and went on to beat the gallant Wisteria Walk by 0,30 lengths in a time of 85,60 secs.
The 66-1 Kayla’s Champ ran the race of her life to grab third cheque a further 0,70 lengths back.
It was a confidence boosting feature victory for Gavin Lerena, who only recently returned from an extended break.
Bred by Digteby Stud, and thus something of a belated present for that top farm’s Judy Stegeman who celebrated her birthday on Friday, Mill Queen is by Maine Chance Farms’ G1 winning sire Querari (Oasis Dream) out of Grey Eminence’ three-time winner, Moulin Grise.
Querari was the leading sire of 2yo’s in 2018/19 and rounded off a good week, having sired the winners of the first three races at Hollywoodbets Greyville last Wednesday.
A R140 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, Mill Queen is a winner of 3 races with 2 places from 5 starts and took her bank to R423 375.
Gr3 Starling Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Turffontein, South Africa, November 2, R200k, 1400m, turf, soft, 1.25.06
1 – MILL QUEEN (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Querari (GER) – Moulin Grise (SAF) by Grey Eminence (FR). Owner Messrs S Poriazis, W G de Koker & W Volschenk; Breeder Digteby Stud; trainer D Nieuwenhuizen; jockey G Lerena
2 – Wisteria Walk (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Vercingetorix (SAF) – Wooden Doll (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
3 – Kayla’s Champ (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Noordhoek Flyer (SNL) – Denschogar (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
Margins: 0.30, 0.70, 1.75