Former New Zealander Judi Wanless may have had her next star performer uncovered at Avondale yesterday.
Wanless has experienced the thrills of Group One success, having raced VRC Derby winner Amalfi with her husband, Ron, and bred and raced Lights Of Heaven, whose wins include the Gr. 1 Schweppes Australasian Oaks and Gr 2 Brisbane Cup.
Wanless, a Queensland resident, is also the owner-breeder of the Australian-bred Romantic Maid, who could not have been more impressive when making her debut in the NZ All Golds Cosmopolitan Club 1400 yesterday.
A three-year-old daughter of High Chaparral, Romantic Maid was given a good run in the trail by rider Michael McNab, who angled her out on the turn. After challenging with 250 metres to run, she drew clear to win by three and a quarter lengths from Red Raven.
The win was reminiscent of her second trial, also at Avondale, on February 2 when she won by three lengths.
“She’s got a great nature and has kept improving,” said trainer Roger James. “She didn’t show much at all to start with then in her first trial she trialled well (for fourth) and in her second trial she went even better. Her work had been handy and I wasn’t surprised with what she did yesterday.”
James won two races with Honeymoon (also owned and bred by Wanless) and has two youngsters in his stable for Romantic Maid’s owner.
Wanless bred Romantic Maid from the Elusive City mare Returntosender, whose two wins included the Gr. 2 Queen Of The South Stakes in South Australia.
Returntosender was also four times stakes-placed and is a granddaughter of Live It Up, a three-race winner who was runner-up in the Gr. 1 AJC Flight Stakes and is the dam of dual Group One winner Response.
- NZ Racing Desk