With five fillies racing for the NZ Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year title in Saturday’s Listed NZB Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton, it was If I Can I Can who raced to the Series victory, claiming a rare Filly Series double for her young sire Iffraaj.
With the three Series leaders all tied on seven points coming into Saturday’s race, If I Can I Can needed to win the race and see last start winner Kisses run out of the placings in order to take the outright Series victory.
With the result falling in If I Can I Can’s camp, the filly secured the Southern Filly of the Year title for her sire Iffraaj who also sired the NZB Filly of the Year Series winner Fix.
Only Tights, who stood at Haunui Farm, the current NZ base for Iffraaj, and Three Legs have managed to sire the winner of both Series in 1994/95 and 1983/84 respectively.
“She’s out of a Zabeel mare and she has that toughness about her,” commented trainer Lisa Latta. “She likes to have that cut in the ground and I think that she will appreciate a longer trip.
“We will keep her in training for another week and see how she comes through the race. If she does really well then we may look to take her to Queensland.”
The final standings in NZB’s Southern Filly of the Year Series see If I Can I Can on top with 8 points with Annabel Rose (Pins), Kisses (Iffraaj) and Emerald Queen (O’Reilly) all tied for second place after each winning a leg of the four race Series.
If I Can I Can was bred by Fairdale Stud and is raced by a large group of owners. She was offered by Goodwood Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2011 Karaka Select Sale where she was purchased by Lisa Latta Racing Stables for $60,000. The filly is the 13th stakes winner for her sire Iffraaj and the fifth from his first New Zealand crop which also includes triple Group 2 winner Fix, So Wotif and Twilight Granita.
“To land both the Southern & Filly of the Year Series is a huge result for Iffraaj,” commented Haunui Farm General Manager Mark Chitty. “He has had a huge season with his three-year-olds with five stakes winners and to put that achievement into context, there is no other second season sire in Australasia this season that has sired five stakes winners from their first crop.”