From Russia With Love

What a family!

One in the eye for those who believe that a female line cannot survive and thrive off just a single line of descent!

Gimme A Nother, who took her career to a perfect three from three in Turffontein’s Gr3 Betway Fillies Mile on Saturday, poked a huge hole in that theory.

JP van der Merwe salutes on Gimme A Nother on Saturday (Pic – JC Photos)

A third generation stakes winner trained by Mike de Kock, the daughter of Gimmethegreenlight is a product of the venerable Mauritzfontein Stud and races in the famous black and yellow silks inherited by current owner Jessica Slack-Jell.

It was Jessica’s mother Mary Slack who purchased Gimme A Nother’s grandam Mother Russia from Klawervlei Stud as a dual Gr1 winner of the Fancourt Majorca and Empress Club Stakes.

She duly rewarded her new owner with victory in the Gr1 Paddock Stakes and in what was arguably the highlight of her star-studded career, the coveted Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, a memorable occasion given that she thwarted the mighty Pocket Power’s bid of a fifth consecutive victory in the celebrated mile race.

There were high hopes for the champion daughter of Windrush when she retired to her owner’s Wilgerbosdrift paddocks as a four-time Gr1 winner.

However, racing and breeding is fraught with incredible highs and the heartbreak that is the flip side, hence it was not just a cruel blow when Mother Russia died at age ten, her innings as a broodmare yielded just a single foal.

It looked like her name would quietly fade into obscurity.

Not so. Fortunately, that foal, a filly named Nother Russia, is keeping the flame alive.

Like her mom before her, she joined the De Kock stable but raced in the colours of Jessica, who had purchased the chestnut from the Wilgerbosdrift draft for R550 000 at the National Yearling Sale.

One can speculate as to why Wilgerbosdrift would offer for sale a filly out of a champion racemare, but at the time, Mother Russia was alive and well and looked to have many years of her broodmare life ahead of her. Fate decreed otherwise.

Team Nother Russia (photo: JC Photographics)

Flashback! Craig Zackey and Nother Russia are led in by Jessica and Steve Jell, with Mary Slack enjoying the moment (Pic -JC Photos)

Let’s just say that Jessica’s purchase was money well spent, for Nother Russia proved herself to be very much her mother’s daughter.

She stepped into the history books as the first back-to-back winner of the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes, the second of which coming on the back of a superb runner-up effort in the Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes, where she pushed Horse of the Year Legal Eagle all the way up the long Turffontein straight and failed by a diminishing neck, achievements which saw her emulate her dam as the recipient of a Champion Older Filly/Mare title.

Retired to Mauritzfontein, Nother Russia has to date produced four foals, and considering that three of those are fillies, it would seem that for now, the family fortunes look secure and should mushroom in years to come.

By the way, Mother Russia is not the first Gr1 winning mare whose legacy continues through just one foal.

Jessica Jell welcomes Gimme A Nother after her peak victory on Saturday (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Astute readers will no doubt come up with others, but we’re sure Cape racegoers of an older generation will remember the fine racemare Boland Pride, who counted what is now the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas amongst her eight victories.

An own sister to SA Nursery winner Bold Persian, she too, produced just one foal, the New South Wales filly Country Pride, who never raced, but became the dam of Gr1-placed stakes winner Country Glory and grandam of Gr1 winner Proud Pilgrim.

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