Local links to major Irish Group 1 race
Sunday sees the running of the Group 1 Newbridge Silverware Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
Named for one of the greatest racemares and producers in history, the Pretty Polly Stakes has been won by a host of top-class fillies over the years.
Recent winners include Misty For Me (Champion) Alexander Goldrun (who won it twice), Peeping Fawn (Champion), Dar Re Mi (Yorkshire Oaks, Dubai Sheema Classic) and Rebelline (Tattersalls Gold Cup).
This year’s race sees a number of runners line up with ties to South Africa.
The first of the runners in the Pretty Polly is Along Came Casey, a daughter of Oratorio, who stands at Avontuur. The former European Champion, who was fully booked in 2013, is set to stand for R100 000 this year.
Another Cape sire represented in the 2014 Pretty Polly Stakes is Drakenstein Stud’s new sire Duke Of Marmalade. The former champion and five time Group 1 winner is the sire of Venus De Milo, who is set to represent Ballydoyle.
Both Duke Of Marmalade and Oratorio are sons of the legendary Danehill.
Just The Judge, winner of last year’s Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, is another filly in
the race with SA links. This classic winner is from the same family as the Gary Player Stud resident Noordhoek Flyer. The latter, a dual Guineas winner, is set to have his first runners next season.
Noordhoek Flyer is a son of world leading sire Pivotal, whose offspring include the 2014 Dubai World Cup winner African Story. Pivotal is also the sire of Pretty Polly contender Harasiya (third in the 2013 Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes).
Pivotal’s daughters have fared well in the Pretty Polly Stakes, and include the previous winners Chorist and Izzi Top.
The multiple stakes winner Pearl of Africa is another with strong Cape ties. The daughter of Jeremy (by Danehill Dancer), is out of the top-class South African bred and raced mare Kournikova. A daughter of Daytona’s deceased sire Sportsworld, Kournikova won five races and over R800 000. Her wins included the Gr1 Triple Tiara 1600, where Kournikova defeated champion Ipi Tombe into second place.
Finally, two more runners in this prestigious Group 1 race have ties to Cape based sires. Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Marvellous is out of a full-sister to Tiger Dance, while Avenue Gabrial’s dam is a full-sister to Oaklands Stud’s resident sire, Indigo Magic.
This race honours Pretty Polly, who won 22 of her 24 outings, including the 1000
Guineas, Oaks and St Leger. She is the ancestress of countless champions including Swain, Fantastic Light, Brigadier Gerard, Nearctic, Marling, Marwell, Supreme Court, Seaside Attraction, and Great Nephew, to name a few.
Local stars tracing back to Pretty Polly include ill-fated Vodacom Durban July winner Eyeofthetiger, and sires such as Great Britain, Preamble II and Sybil’s Nephew.
She is also the ancestress of legendary South Africa broodmare Sister Sublime (ancestress of Mazarin, Roland’s Song, National Emblem, et al).