Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery: Hidden Beauty

Hidden Beauty unchallenged in Gr2 juvenile sprint

Hidden Beauty treated 14 other two-year-old fillies to something of a galloping lesson when she ran out a very easy winner of the SA Fillies Nuresery over 1160m at Turffontein on Saturday, writes Matthew Lips.  She had reportedly finished lame when suffering her first career defeat from three previous starts in a Listed race in early March, but everything was very clearly in working order this time.

Hidden Beauty was allowed to start as a 7/1 chance in a race where there was a somewhat remarkable (and ultimately wholly misplaced) gamble on Australian-bred newcomer Amanee, who started as the 9/10 favourite from an ante-post call of 7/2.  Amanee’s stable companion Amur Affair started as the 9/1 third favourite as Solarium blew out from an opening price of 11/2 to start at exactly double that price.

Hidden Beauty was not too far off the early action as the stable companions Midnight Dragon and Variometer both showed plenty of speed ahead of Indigo Princess.  The likes of Amur Affair and Extraordinaire were also a few lengths adrift, but the frontrunners were running out of steam coming past the 200m.  KZN raider Indigo Princess was still in the mix, but Hidden Beauty was now lengthening well under Felix Coetzee and ran right away from her rivals in the final stages to win by 3.25 lengths from maiden Up Front, who showed a return to the form of her hugely eye-catching debut effort after running well below that effort when tried around the turn in her next appearance.  Indigo Princess finished three-quarters of a length further behind Up Front in third, with the winner’s stable companion Extraordinaire fully 2.5 lengths further adrift in fourth.  Whatever Amanee had shown at home was not on display here as she was beaten 8.5 lengths into sixth place, but she clearly must be tearing up the gallops and can prove to be considerably better than this effort.

The likes of Solarium and Amur Affair (who had beaten Up Front when the latter was making her debut) were beaten a long way out of the money and surely didn’t run up to their best, but while it wouldn’t be too hard to pick a few holes in this form there is no real arguing with the manner in which Hidden Beauty delivered.  Paul Matchett’s filly had won her first two career starts in impressive style before going a bit wrong in her third appearance and will be amongst the obvious picks if she bids for Gr 1 glory in the Allan Robertson Fillies Championship over 1200m at Scottsville on May 28th.

Hidden Beauty is a daughter of deceased Victory Moon, whose 2yo daughters have been in particularly good form this season and who was already the sire of a Listed juvenile winner in Princess Victoria so far in 2011.  Hidden Beauty is the eleventh foal, seventh winner, and first Stakes winner bred from National Assembly mare Hidcote Blue, who won only one race over 1600m but who is a half sister to J & B Met winner Imperious Sue.  This is in fact more distantly the family of Victory Moon himself, who was a great grandson of Hidden Beauty’s third dam Bluebell Girl.

Hidden Beauty was one of those increasingly rare horses in a South African sales ring, a pinhook.  Pinhooking is the business (massive in America, especially) of buying young horses with the intention of reselling them on a later sale and David Hepburn-Brown’s Hemel ‘n Aarde Stud showed a nice return on the R140 000 which they paid for Hidden Beauty as a weanling when they sold her to her current owner Fred Crabbia for R375 000 at the National Yearling Sale less than a year later.  Her three wins from four starts have earned her R366 625 in stakes.

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SA Fillies Nursery (SAf-G2) (4/30)
Turffontein, South Africa, April 30, R400.000, 1160m, turf, good, 1.07.70 (CR 1.05.12).
1 – HIDDEN BEAUTY (SAF), 58.0, ch f 2, Victory Moon (SAF) – Hidcote Blue (SAF) by National Assembly (CAN). Owner Mr A L A Crabbia; breeder Maine Chance (SAF); trainer PF Matchett; jockey F Coetzee (R250.000)
2 – Up Front (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Count Dubois (GB) – Whispering Academy (AUS) by Royal Academy
3 – Indigo Princess (SAF), 58.0, ch f 2, King Of Kings (IRE) – Cornflower Blue (SAF) by National Emblem (SAF )
Margins: 3¼, ¾, 2½
Also ran: Extraordinaire (SAF) 58.0, Amanee (AUS) 58.0, Anne Bonny (SAF) 58.0, Variometer (SAF) 58.0, Solarium (SAF) 58.0, Markofdistinction (SAF) 58.0, Maggie Thatch (SAF) 58.0, Amur Affair (SAF) 58.0, Midnight Dragon (SAF) 58.0, Kinematic Countess (SAF) 58.0, Small Miracle (SAF) 58.0, Victrixit (SAF) 58.0

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