South African filly Ektifaa is the latest More Than Ready stakes winners sourced by Mike De Kock for Sheikh Hamdan and she showed Group 1 potential at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Ektifaa became the 165th stakes winner by Vinery’s champion sire after an impressive display of power and courage in the G2 Choice Carriers Championship (1400m).
She missed the start and was then ridden aggressively to make up ground behind the pacemaker Red Light Girl. Sent forward by Callan Murray at the 300m pole, she hit the front and was never headed, despite some serious challenges emerging in the final stages.
“I wanted to be up there but she reared before the gates opened,” Murray explained. “We managed to get into a beautiful position on the fence and she went on nicely to win well.”
It is early days but Ektifaa looks a filly to follow with the G1 Cape Fillies Guineas (1600m) an obvious target in December. “Her pedigree suggests the mile will be her maximum,” De Kock said. “She will be stretched, but she has scope and hopefully draws well.”
The More Than Ready import won her maiden and then a handicap in the Highveld before Saturday’s Group 2 in Cape Town. “Any filly who can do that is decent,” De Kock declared. “She was looking around at her new surroundings today and was green on the bend so the win carries merit.
“We’ve had stakes winners from every crop of runners bought for us by Shadwell in Australia.” Among them are More Than Ready stars Entisaar (G1 Allan Robertson Championship) and Banaadeer (LR Storm Bird Stakes).
Ektifaa is the first foal of Stellar Vinia (Redoute’s Choice) who is a half-sister to Calveen (G1 NZ Easter Hcp) and the stakes winners Fireworks, Kosi Bay and Striker. She was bred and sold by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds for $600,000 at last year’s Inglis Easter yearling sale.
Earlier on Saturday, More Than Ready’s top class son Prized Icon won the G1 Victoria Derby at Flemington. Vinery stands him for a $66,000 (inc gst) service fee.