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Top Sandown Family: Home, James – Or Race On?

Poser for many breeders at this time of the year

While the Gr3 Econorisk Final Fling Stakes will live up to its name for some of the field that contested the 1800m event at Kenilworth on Saturday and are now off to stud, experienced breeder James Armitage is in two minds about the impressive winner So Flawless.

James leases the 4yo chestnut daughter of  Cheveley Stud’s homebred sire, and former Horse Of The Year, Legislate, to leading owner Sabine Plattner.

So Flawless wins the Gr3 Final Fling Stakes on Saturday (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

A winner of the WSB Sign Up Now Listed Ladies Mile at her previous start, the Sandown Stud-bred So Flawless became Legislate’s fourth graded stakes winner from his small first crop, when scooting home by over three lengths under Corne Orffer on Saturday.

“Trainer Andre Nel has done a fantastic job with her. He found an issue and she is now running to her true ability and has won her last two feature starts in terrific fashion. I was thrilled to get a Listed win under the belt, but now she is a Gr3 winner – so what does one do?” mused James Armitage as he said he is leaning towards bringing So Flawless back home.

Read more about Saturday’s feature here.

“She is very close to my heart. Her Mom Natural Beauty, a daughter of Judpot and half sister to our top-class mare So Royal (Kahir Almaydan), who has produced four stakes winners, including Gr3 winners Priceless Jewel and Royal Badge, and Gr1 filly Royal Extravagance, was on her way to Kimberley to race there. I decided to get her to Sandown so took a chance and phoned owner Paul Barrett. We agreed on a deal and the float was redirected our way. We sent her to Legislate. That mating produced So Flawless!”

Priceless Jewell from the same family – was coincidentally Adam Marcus’ first winner as a trainer

Now James sits with a poser facing many breeders – to stud or stay racing?

“She has never raced better and who knows what she could achieve as a fit and relatively lightly raced 5yo next term? But even if we try and she wins a Gr1 next season, will that risk really offset the equation and make the gamechanging difference? I met somebody recently who opined that a Gr1 winner at 5 didn’t carry the same weight. But I will chat to Andre Nel and Mrs Plattner and make a decision. It’s a nicer ‘predicament’ to be in than where we were prior to her Ladies Mile win,” he added.

Now a five time winner, the very talented So Flawless took her earnings to over R400 000 with her Final Fling Stakes win.

South Africa’s Horse Of The Year in 2013-2014, four time Gr1 winner Legislate has had another top season in 2021/22. The champion’s flagbearers this season include graded stakes winners Airways Law, Hoedspruit and obviously So Flawless, as well as Ladies Mile runner-up Veronica Mars.

From the same female line as this season’s graded stakes winners Decorated and Silver Operator, Legislate currently sports a higher AEPR than such notable stallions as Trippi, Captain Al and Rafeef.

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2 comments on “Top Sandown Family: Home, James – Or Race On?

  1. Susan Rowett says:

    James – a “veteran” at his age.!? What does that make the rest of us.?!

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Susan – good question! Ancient, maybe 🙂
      A veteran ito experience.
      Amending that adjective, upon reflection.

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