Talented three-year-old Southern Lord rounded out his New Zealand career in the best possible way with a strong win in the Group One Levin Classic (1600m) at Otaki this afternoon.
Purchased and part-owned by trainer Alan Tait, Southern Lord is headed to Singapore after a break to join the stables of leading trainer Mark Walker.
A former accomplished jockey, Tait purchased Southern Lord for $125,000 from the Bellagio Lodge draft at the 2010 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale and races the lightly raced performer with wife Galene.
Tait has been a regular at the National Weanling Sale and has tasted great success in both pin-hooking and unearthing future quality gallopers.
The 2010 National Weanling Sale also unearthed Australia’s champion juvenile and triple crown winner Pierro – a $115,000 buy earlier in the auction.
Southern Lord was allowed to find his feet during the early and middle stages of today’s Group One and had only one runner behind him when approaching the turn – but that was soon to change.
When called upon by Kelly Myers at the top the straight on the extreme outside, the youngster acclerated brilliantly to reel in the leaders and hit the front about 250 metres from home.
At the post Southern Lord held a half length margin over second favourite Le Choix, while the market’s fourth pick Soriano was another nose back in third place under Opie Bosson.
Southern Lord is the third Group One winner for the Magic Millions sold Golden Slipper winner Stratum.
His dam, the Rory’s Jester mare Angel Girl, won four races and earned black type was a second in the Sir Douglas Wadley Handicap and third in the Golden Stakes.
A half sister to stakes placed WA based galloper Simplyirresistable, Angel Girl earned over $153,000 before being retred to stud. Southern Lord is her first foal.
Her latest yearling, an attractive running style of filly by Eureka Stud’s Group One sire Red Dazzler has been entered for March’s 2013 QTIS Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast.
Winner: Southern Lord
Breeding: Stratum-Angel Girl (Rory’s Jester)
Race: Levin RC Levin Classic G1 (1600m)
Sold for: $125,000
Sale: 2010 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale
Vendor: Bellagio Lodge
Buyer: Alan Tait
Owner(s): AL & Mrs GF Tait
Trainer: Alan Tait (Matamata)