Mornington based trainer Jason Warren kept the winners ticking over when debutant Garter Girl won on home turf on Thursday.
Garter Girl (3f Legion – Dancing Legs by Royal Academy) scored a nice win, albeit narrowly, when she held on by a long neck in the Carlton Draught Maiden Plate (1013m). She had been placed in a Cranbourne trial earlier this month and the winner Jolie Brise (Fastnet Rock) came out and ran third in a strong Sandown event won by Aloha.
Garter Girl joined stablemates such as Elle Cee (Grass Wonder) and Trust Me I’m Blonde (Murphy’s Blu Boy) who had scored recent wins on the provincial circuit.
Her sire Legion is by Redoute’s Choice and is a half-brother to G1 racehorse and sire General Nediym. He stands at Nev Murdoch’s Larneuk Stud at Euroa and is about to commence his fifth season at stud.
To date, Legion has had 7 first-crop starters for two winners and two placehetters. His first winner Foreign Christmas also scored on debut at Terang in March.
Thursday’s Mornington winner has a pedigree that had gone quiet for a couple of generations but Legion may be the catalyst to get it going again.
Garter Girl was bred by part-owner John Clark and her dam and second dam were both unraced. But her third dam is none other than Star Kingdom’s champion filly Citius who was a G1 winner of the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, AJC Doncaster Hcp, VATC Oakleigh Plate and VRC Lightning Stakes.
She wore the white and green colours of Tom Travaskis and a decade later they were also on show on board champion sprinter-miler Century.
Warren knew the Legion filly was capable of a first-up win at Mornington. “Garter Girl was only 90% fit but there’s a bit of upside to her,” he said when Ben Melham brought the filly back to scale. “She is a strong, sound type and has always shown really good early speed.”
Warren will now set Garter Girl for a midweek race in town and he would be more than happy to have a few more Legions in the back yard.
Nev Murdoch is also looking forward to seeing more of them hit the track in the next couple of months. “Legion is an imposing, powerfully built individual with a terrific pedigree and he is siring great running types.”
Legion stands for a $4,400 service fee at Larneuk alongside Bramshaw (Encosta de Lago) and Tsigane (Anabaa).