Four-year-old Thorn Park mare Lady Le Fay (NZ) (Thorn Park) added black-type to her pedigree with her first stakes victory in the Listed $50,000 Manawatu ITM Anzac 1600 at Awapuni yesterday.
Trained by Paul and Kris Shailer, Lady Le Fay showed she is capable on all racing surfaces with Saturday’s victory coming on a heavy track after winning her last start, three weeks ago, on a good track at Te Aroha. “We were thrilled to bits with the win,” commented co-trainer Paul Shailer. “It was a plan we had in place from when she came back from the paddock, a two-race target, and we were lucky enough to win them both. Now she has black-type in her pedigree, her residual value has gone up.
“We have achieved what we wanted to achieve, which is good when a plan comes together. “I was a little concerned with a Heavy 11 track, I think she is a far better horse on top of the ground and I thought the track might have played into the other horses hands more than it did ours, but she is a versatile mare and fairly adaptable on any surface.”
Starting from barrier 8, Michael Coleman pushed Lady Le Fay forward to find a spot fourth from the leader. As the field approached the 600m mark, Thorn Prince (NZ) (Thorn Park) raced through on the rail alongside Lady Le Fay, forcing her out wider on the turn for home.
Thorn Prince led by two-lengths in the home straight but was unable to ward off Lady Le Fay as she powered passed in the final moments to win by half-a-length over Thorn Prince. A further three-and-a-quarter-length’s away was Taurus (NZ) (No Excuse Needed), who finished in third place.
“She will go to the paddock now for four weeks and set her for a spring campaign. We are not sure what we are going to target yet but will sit down with Michael, who manages the horse, and make a plan from there.” Winning five of her 12 raceday starts, the four-year-old mare has earned $75,245 in prizemoney for her owners DA D’Esposito, Mrs CA, GVF & MJ Hughes and MR Watson & Lady Le Fay Syndicate.
Lady Le Fay was purchased at the 2012 Karaka Select Sale for $25,000 by NZB as agent from Windsor Park Stud. Bred by JC & Mrs MA Thompson and Windsor Park Stud, the daughter of Thorn Park is out of winning mare Mia Le Fay (Zabeel). Lady Le Fay is a half-sister to stakes placegetter The Tidy Express (Volksraad), runner-up in the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup.