Gr3 Victress S. – A Fine Legacy

A Daughters Legacy Show Great progress

A Daughters Legacy could fairly have been described for most of her career as something of a Cape winter specialist.  Five of her first six wins came on soft or heavy ground, including her success at Gr 3 level in the Final Fling Stakes this past August, but the mare proved that she can more than hold her own on the good going (and, dare one say, against the tougher opposition) of summer when she won the  Victress Stakes over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday.  It surely says much for the progress which A Daughters Legacy has made during the course of this year that she could only finish eleventh in a field of 12 in the corresponding race last season, writes Matthew Lips.

A pair of Gr 1 winners from earlier in 2010 added plenty of depth to the Victress field and they dominated the market, with Love Is In The Air going off as the 17/10 favourite ahead of 75/20 second choice Imperious Star, who was making her seasonal debut after almost five months out of action.  A Daughters Legacy had her backers at longer odds and went off as the 8/1 choice in a maximum field of 16 for this conditions race for fillies and mares.

The pace looked to be ordinary, with Esoteric the first to show before Alinga worked her way over from the widest draw to take over the front running role.  Esoteric settled into second, with Kermes Oak and Imperious Star next best as Love Is In The Air kept her market rival well within sight a length or two further away.  A Daughters Legacy and the well backed We Three were both waited with in the bunch as Alinga continued to show the way around at no breakneck tempo.   Imperious Star didn’t waste much time in making her move once straightened up and went for a dream run down the inside fence, with Love Is In The Air right in her slipstream.

The lack of a recent run seemed to take its toll on Imperious Star, and 200m out it was Love Is The Air who’d taken over, but A Daughters Legacy was being produced with a strong run wider out and ultimately had just a little too much momentum for the favourite, getting the better of Love Is In The Air close home under a driving Glen Hatt ride and going on to beat the market leader by a neck.  We Three ran on steadily to finish 1.25 lengths further back in third, with Reconcile rattling home strongly to be only another head adrift in fourth.  Imperious Star eventually finished eighth, just more than four lengths behind the winner.  Glen Kotzen’s filly had been scratched from her intended seasonal debut in a race won by Love Is In The Air three weeks earlier, and will doubtless come on from this run ahead of the bigger fillies’ races to come this summer.

The numbers clearly show that Love Is In The Air ran some way below a merit rating which should easily have given her the beating of all of the winner, the third, and the fourth.  As such it might not be wise to take entirely literally the fact that A Daughters Legacy managed to beat her on 4.5 kgs worse terms than would have applied in a handicap, but this was still a smart performance from the winner and could easily be argued to have been her career-best effort.  She is going from strength to strength at the age of five, and she would not by any long stretch of the imagination be the first female horse in history to only reach a peak after having her gender officially changed from ‘f’ to ‘m’.  There’s no reason at all why she cannot take her shot at Gr 1 glory in the forthcoming Paddock Stakes over 1800m.  If nothing else, she has won three times already over that distance.

A Daughters Legacy is a daughter of Windrush, a stallion for whose progeny her trainer and part-owner Riaan van Reenen has an obvious affinity after his earlier successes with Diana’s Choice.  The sixth foal and sixth winner produced from unraced Elliodor mare Mississippi Masala, A Daughters Legacy was bred by Lionel Cohen at Odessa Stud and was a R90 000 purchase from the 2007 National Two Year Old Sale.  She has now won seven of her 24 starts, earning R520 150.

Victress S. (SAf-G3) (12/18)

Kenilworth, South Africa, December 18, R150.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.39.23 (CR 1.3580).

A DAUGHTERS LEGACY (SAF), 59.5, b m 5, Windrush – Mississippi Masala (SAF) by Elliodor (FR). Owner R V Reenen, GDR Eveleigh, GS Goghulgo, FJ Louw & CS Swart; breeder D Cohen & sons; trainer R van Reenen; jockey G Hatt (R99.457)

Love Is In The Air (SAF), 62.0, b m 5, Jet Master (SAF) – Careful Step (SAF) by Jungle Cove

We Three (SAF), 59.0, b f 4, Silvano (GER) – Five Star Suite (SAF) by Badger Land

Margins: nk, 1¼, nose

Also ran: Reconcile (SAF) 59.0, Flaming Dame (SAF) 52.0, Desert Mirage (SAF) 58.0, Winter Burst (SAF) 58.0, Imperious Star (SAF) 62.0, Six Blue Notes (SAF) 52.0, Sunsational (SAF) 59.5, Scarlet Sky (SAF) 58.0, Kermes Oak (SAF) 52.0, Carol’s Triumph (SAF) 58.0, Alinga (AUS) 58.0, Esoteric (SAF) 52.0, Townsend (SAF) 61.0

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