Arguably no one has done more to introduce South African female lines to the world than Team Valor International principal, Barry Irwin.
Over the years, the shrewd American has reaped handsome reward with locally-bred fillies he purchased and subsequently exported, notable examples being Alexandra Rose (the dam of Gr1 winner Oleksandra) and Secret Heart (dam of Graded stakes winners Pluck and Three Hearts).
Add to that Sally Bowles, a daughter of London News, who this past weekend, featured as the dam of Lady Radner, a facile winner of the Gr3 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs. It was the second stakes victory for the three-year-old, to go along with a win in the Listed Goldfinch Stakes at Prairie Meadows.
The news of the filly’s Gr3 success was met with delight by veteran Karoo breeder David Southey, for he raised Sally Bowles at his Southford Stud and has always kept a keen eye on the mare’s American broodmare innings.
As he recalls: “I bought her and her dam Eligible Dancer at auction. Sally Bowles was a very nice, neat filly, and for a London News had plenty of quality. I paid R5000 for her and sold her at the National Yearling Sale to Robin Bruss for R140 000.”
Purchased on behalf of Team Valor, Sally Bowles joined the stable of Robin’s late brother Neil and quickly gave notice of her talent when beaten a head in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship.
She blossomed into a smart three-year-old and went on to capture the Gr2 KZN Fillies Guineas at Hollywoodbets Greyville, in the process claiming the notable scalps of future Gr1 winners Royal Fantasy and River Jetez!
Exported to the States, Irwin put Sally Bowles in foal to Gone West’s son Proud Citizen before sending her to the Keeneland November Sales, where she was purchased by Stonestreet Stud for $180,000.
Stakes-placed dual winner London Citizen was the result of that mating and was followed by a Curlin colt who won six races.
Sally Bowles’s next foal, the More Than Ready filly Consumer Credit, became her first black type winner. Twice successful at Listed stakes level, she scored a career high in the Gr3 Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park and also ran third in the Gr1 American Oaks at Santa Anita.
Like her dam, she was put up for auction at the end of her racing career and sold for a healthy $700,000. Lady Radner is the most recent of her eight offspring and second stakes winner.
From a pedigree perspective, Sally Bowles hails from one of the most successful and enduring female lines in the South African Stud Book.
Her dam Eligible Dancer is a Foveros grandaughter of the grand mare Party Time, who won all of the Cape Fillies Guineas, Paddock and Majorca Stakes. Rightly revered as one of the great mares in the South African Stud Book, Party Time not only proved her superiority on the racetrack, she also established her own dynasty for the Cohen’s Odessa Stud and her descendants include the readily identifiable champions Trademark, Let’s Rock ‘N Roll, In The Fast Lane and the Gr1 winner Morisco, to name but a few.
Eligible Dancer produced just two fillies, Sally Bowles and her Dynasty half-sister Jenny Bowles, which David is fortunate to count amongst his broodmare band. She has done her bit to maintain family honour by producing Super Good, a classically performed son of Announce. A seven-time winner, he was runner-up in the Zimbabwe Guineas and also finished third in the Zimbabwe Derby.
The mare’s most recent foal, a ‘beautiful colt’ by Gr1 winner Admiral Kitten, was bought by Glen Kotzen at the KZN Yearling Sale earlier this year.
“Unfortunately, Jenny Bowles is not a good traveller,” David added. “I cannot send her far from home and will probably take her to Visionaire, who stands with Schalkie van der Walt.”
As for Sally Bowles, it’s hats off to David for raising her, and to Barry Irwin for introducing to the global gene pool a mare who has been a fine representative of both her female line and the South African thoroughbred.