Sebring Mare Wins First Aussie G1 of Season
The $1million Group I ATC Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday was the first Group I race of the new Australian racing season and with seven runners champion trainer Chris Waller was expected to be hard to beat with his favoured runner Fangirl in the Ingham cerise edging out her stablemate Princess Grace (USA) and race favourite Zaaki (GB) in third place.
A homebred for the Ingham family by Sebring, Fangirl won the Group I ATC Vinery Stud Stakes at three, but went winless last season thanks to the spate of heavy tracks and the might of Anamoe.
With Anamoe preparing to cover his first book of mares at Darley this spring and El Nino bringing to an end the relentless wet weather, Fangirl may have found her time to shine.
Tuned up with a couple of recent trials and an exhibition gallop, she was fit and ready to fire with James McDonald in the saddle and produced her trademark late sprint to get up on the line giving her trainer his milestone 150th Group I win.
An incredible moment. pic.twitter.com/WSy7ndn0UI
— SKY Racing (@SkyRacingAU) August 19, 2023
“She was the Happy Clapper (to Anamoe) so she has got her day in the sun again today and it was a fitting result, 150 Group Ones and in the cerise (silks),” Waller said.
“One Group One, you never forget them, but to win 150, I thank my team.”
Waller was well pleased with all of his runners.
“Osipenko was good, Princess Grace was second – she just about pinched it and she’s got a good win in her,” Waller said.
“Hinged wasn’t far away running fourth, Francesco Guardi was just in behind them.
“Barrier draws made it hard for some of them like Lindermann and even Montefilia, but they were all well prepared going into the race …. and I think they should all bounce out of their runs.”
Foaled and raised at Coolmore for the Ingham family, Fangirl has six wins and six placings from 19 starts earning $3.9million and is the best of five winners from Little Surfer Girl, who was bought by the Ingham’s for $1.5million at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
By champion sire Encosta de Lago from Champion 3YO Filly and dual Group I winner Special Harmony, Little Surfer Girl won three stakes races for the Ingham’s during her career and earned over $400,000 in prizemoney. Two of her daughters are already at stud and have produced current season performers in Group placed filly Cigar Flick and super consistent metro winner Waverider Buoy, who is by Nicconi.
Fangirl is one of eight Group I winner for the late great Widden Stud based Golden Slipper winning sire Sebring, who passed away in 2019.