Emotional Serendipity For Slack Family

Diminutive daughter of Flower Alley wins well

Trying some proper ground for the first time in her career, champion Ilha Da Vittoria’s granddaughter None Other finished with a flourish under Richard Fourie to win the R750 000 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer Gr2 SA Oaks at Turffontein on Saturday on an emotional occasion for South Africa’s first family of racing.

In one of those emotionally serendipitous horseracing moments, None Other was winning the SA Oaks at the first renewal bearing the name of SA horseracing’s former first lady Bridget Oppenheimer, and is a granddaughter of Ilha Da Vitoria, who won the Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes in 2006, coincidentally the first year the race carried the name of Harry Oppenheimer!

Mary Slack is flanked by Jehan Malherbe and daughter Jessica Slack-Jell after None Other’s victory (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Wilgerbosdrift’s inform sire Flower Alley really has enjoyed another fine season in 2022-2023, and the former Gr1 Travers Stakes winner struck yet again when his Wilgerbosdrift bred and owned daughter came home powerfully under a rampant Richard Fourie, who was winning the feature for the second consecutive year after Rain In Holland won in 2022.

The Lucky Houdalakis trained None Other (4-1) showed her appreciation of the step up in trip with a smart performance, hitting the front 200m  from home and powered home to score by two and three-quarters of a length in a time of 159,19 secs.

Size doesn’t matter – it’s the blood and the heart! Richard Fourie guides None Other to victory (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Brett Crawford’s Reny (20-1) stayed on well for second, three quarters of a length ahead of Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Lady Of Power (6-1), who ranged up dangerously into the 300m but ran out of steam.

SA Fillies Classic winner Bless My Stars (5-2) was well beaten in fourth.

Out of the Dynasty mare One Of A Kind, who was the late Ilha Da Vitoria’s last daughter, None Other has now won four of 12 starts and has earned R925 750.

Trainer Lucky Houdalakis has done a splendid job with the strip of a filly who arrived at his yard looking ‘like a travel pony’, in the words of Mary Slack.

Lucky Houdalakis and Richard Fourie at the post-race formalities (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

None Other was one of three runners in the 2023 G2 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer Oaks sired by Flower Alley. She is the first SA Oaks winner for Flower Alley, whose daughter Pomander finished second in the 2020 SA Oaks.

Flower Alley went close this season to landing all three legs of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara with his Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein bred daughter Feather Boa having finished a close up second in both the Gr2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas and Gr1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic.

Flower Alley has five lots on offer at the 2023 BSA National Yearling Sale on 21 and 22 April.

Watch the replay here:

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