Waikato Girl On Queensland Oaks Path

Impeccably bred Savabeel filly Waikato Girl has added valuable black-type to her CV with a brave victory in the Listed Princess Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday for trainer Michael Freedman.

Bred and part-owned by Sir Peter Vela, Waikato Girl is out of Scintilulla, a Group Three winning and multiple Group One placed daughter of champion sire Galileo.

Sporting the colours of Gandharvi Racing, Waikato Girl broke maiden ranks when successful at Rosehill in November.

She found her way to Queensland for the upcoming Brisbane winter carnival off the back of finishing just beyond midfield in the Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on a Heavy track at Randwick earlier in the month.

Specked late in the betting the filly travelled in midfield before sneaking up one off the fence early in the run home.

Rider Vlad Duric got to work in the final 200m and she slowly reeled in Amazonian Lass, who looked set for victory after moving clear of the field at that point, gaining the upper hand in the shadows of the post to register her second career success at just her seventh start.

Kiwi import Firestorm was a shade unlucky in third in what was a messy race.

Duric admitted the confidence of Freedman had him feeling good about his chances prior to the race, although he had to overcome plenty of adversity in the run.

“Michael was very bullish about her with blinkers on today,” Duric said.

“Gee it was a rough race. There were horses that nearly fell in front of me and the horse inside me clipped heels and bumped into her and put her into the fence.

“The win was first-class. To pick herself up and then fight at the end of the race, all credit goes to her and goes to Michael.

“She has got black-type and I know there are a few people who will be very chuffed about this win. My good friend Mike Kneebone (Director of New Zealand Bloodstock) will be rapt, so it’s very good.”

Purchased by Bloodstock Agent Michael Wallace for $600,000 out of Pencarrow Stud’s 2022 Karaka Book 1 draft, Waikato Girl is raced by Bangalore-born, Boston-based Kuldeep Singh Rajput under his Gandharvi banner in conjunction with New Zealand Bloodstock proprietor Sir Peter Vela.

She is the younger sister of Gr.2 Autumn Classic (1800m) runner-up Butter Chicken and comes from an extended family that includes multiple European stakes winners.

Waikato Girl’s four-time winning half-sister Stella Splendida recently sold for $410,000 on gavelhouse.com.

Waikato Girl has now won two races with a further three placings, including a third placing in the Gr.3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m).

The blueblood filly has plenty of Queensland options and is in the market for the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.

– NZ Racing Desk

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