Ladies First, winner of Saturday’s G1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, is from the very same family as Wilgerbosdrift’s popular young stallion, and former Equus Champion, Soft Falling Rain.
Princequillo’s 3 time winning daughter Quillopoly is the fourth dam of both Ladies First, a daughter of Dylan Thomas, and globetrotting star Soft Falling Rain.
Ladies First, whose connections plan to aim her at the 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup, dominated the rescheduled 2016 Wanganui Cup in June last year and she overcame crowding and intimidation to power back from the outside and snatch the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
After the mare was caught out on a limb early, rider Johnathan Parkes pressed forward to get one off the fence on the pace.
The five-year-old challenged early in the run home and rounded off a lion-hearted effort to pip Five To Midnight by a nose with Wildflower a short neck back in third.
Ladies First, who was produced by G3 Kingstown Town Stakes winner Just Polite, has now won nine of her 16 races and has earnings of over NZ $480 000 to her name.
Her relative, the unbeaten Champion 2YO and G1 SA Nursery winner, Soft Falling Rain was an exceptional racehorse who captured major features in all of Dubai, Great Britain and South Africa.
One of 16 G1 winners for triple champion 2yo sire National Assembly (whose other notable progeny Horse Of The Year and outstanding producer National Colour as well as champion and successful sire National Emblem), Soft Falling Rain retired to stud having won or placed in 10 of 13 races and banked over £740 000 in prize money.
Soft Falling Rain has already made his presence felt at stud, with yearlings from his first crop fetching up to R1.4 million at the 2018 Cape Premier Yearling Sale (the sire topped the First Crop Sires List at the Premier Sale).
The champion has an exceptional draft of 29 yearlings on offer at the 2018 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, highlighted by siblings to such standout performers as Forries Waltz (Lot 15), Elusive Gold (Lot 115), Our Emperor (Lot 149), and Folk Dance (Lot 464).