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Finishing School's daughter Prom Queen notches another win for Windsor Park Stud
11 May 2017 | By Mary Burgess, NZTBA

Flying two-year-old Prom Queen's racing career is still in its infancy but her breeders can't help but get excited about what the future might hold.

A two-time listed winner, the daughter of Super Easy and the Royal Academy mare, Finishing School, Prom Queen has racked up five wins from her six starts to date. That one blip on what would be an otherwise perfect scorecard was a third placing which came at Wingatui where she was restrained to trail rather than leading.

"She will be a very welcome addition to the broodmare band. We've bred some very good two-year-olds over the years but her results would indicate she is exceptionally talented," Windsor Park Stud general manager Steve Till said.

Prom Queen, who was bred by Pat Sells and Windsor Park Stud, is owned by the stud and raced on lease by trainer Kenny Rae and his group of owners.

"Pat Sells was our vet at Windsor Park Stud and he wanted to have a crack and get into the breeding game," Till said. 

"We sorted out some mares for him to use and gave him a list from which he chose two or three and Finishing School was on that list."

When Sells returned to the UK to marry and set up practice Windsor Park bought out his interest.

Prom Queen's dam, Finishing School was purchased as a yearling at the Sydney sales by the Mapperley Partnership which consisted of the Davison family, the Schick family's Windsor Park Stud and Steve Till, operating under his breeding stock portfolio Alchemy Family Trust.

Finishing School, a half-sister to Gr.2 winning juvenile Catnipped and stakes placed Wyndam Tycoon, is out of the Christmas Tree mare Final Claus, herself a winner at two.

A half-sister to VRC St Leger Gr.2 winner Full At Last and Ultima Vita - the juvenile winning dam of Karaka Million victor Sister Havana - Final Claus was a daughter of the Northfields mare Life At Last. 

In addition to leaving eight winners and featuring in the pedigrees of the group performers Reward for Effort, Overreach, Miss Prospect and Life's A Bounty, three-time winner Life At Last (Sovereign Path-Royal News) was a sister to Betty Box, the dam of the flying Group One winner Alynda.

Finishing School certainly had a lot to live up to when it came time to head to the track!

"We put her with Mike and Paul Moroney and she showed a bit at two so they thought enough of her to take her to Melbourne and have a crack," Till said.

The Melbourne campaign didn't yield the right results with two unplaced runs and Finishing School retired to stud with a record of two wins and six placings, among them a second in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes. Eleven days after that run Finishing School had racked up a third placing in the Listed NZB 2YO Fillies Stakes at Avondale - somewhat ironically, she chased home Kenny Rae's flying filly, Egyptian Raine.

Finishing School's nine foals to race to date have resulted in six winners, with her 2006 daughter by Thorn Park, Swiss Rose, the only other black type performer to date as a Listed winner in Queensland.

While those early progeny were bred by the Mapperley Partnership a redistribution of the mares around 2011 saw Finishing School wind up as part of the Windsor Park Stud and Alchemy Family Trust package.

Her 2015 Shamexpress colt offered in the Windsor Park Stud draft at this year's New Zealand Bloodstock Select sale was knocked down for $34,000 to Prom Queen's trainer Ken Rae.

"He has said that if the colt is half as good as her then he will be very, very good," Till said.

Prom Queen's total domination in juvenile events at Riccarton doesn't surprise Till given the filly's pedigree.

"It is a great family, Finishing School goes back to Royal News, who was a winning sister to Sovereign Edition, and the Alan Jones filly Alynda's family is another branch. It is quite a precocious family which produces year in year out," he said.

"Finishing School is a lighter framed mare so we tried to select physical horses that would suit her best from a confirmation aspect," he added.

"Shamexpress is very physical and Super Easy is a good strong horse too. We are shareholders in Super Easy and have supported the horse and thought it would be a good mating."

"We have repeated that mating and Finishing School is currently in foal to Super Easy," Till said.

In the meantime Windsor Park will keep a keen eye on Prom Queen's progress as she heads towards next season's NZ 1000 Guineas on the Riccarton track where she is unbeaten.

"It is Kenny's stated aim that the 1000 Guineas is on her programme and he is of the opinion that she is relaxed enough to get that trip," Till said.

"A mile would genetically be within her range and it is a family which has been known to train on."