JOCKEY Aldo Domeyer never lifted a finger on Magical Wonderland (7-2), except for when he wagged one at photographers when they crossed the line two lengths clear of Rose In Bloom in Friday’s Gr2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes on the first day of the L’Omarins Queen’s Plate Festival at Kenilworth.

Magical Wonderland made the 1200m sprint her own with a stunning gallop. The result was as good as in the frame with 200m to go as Domeyer looked over his shoulder and she just ran in his hands to take the R250,000 first prize for owners Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff.

“Magical Wonderland is a top filly, I had to lose a few pounds to ride her but it was well worth it,” said Domeyer of the Maine Chance-bred daughter of the Mike Bass stable’s former star sprinter What A Winter.

“I have a few What A Winter’s in my stable, including some nice two-year-olds. Some of them run like him, they are a pleasure to train,” said trainer Candice Bass-Robinson, who won two Cartier-sponsored events last season and also picked up Friday’s preliminary, the R150,000 Ardmore Jamaica Handicap (Listed) with imported Leaves Of Grass.

Leaves Of Grass (Greg Cheyne), surged ahead late.

Leaves Of Grass, out of her ground on a steady pace, produced a sustained late run for jockey Greg Cheyne to get up close to the line from Raya Baba and Baroness Mary, winning by a long head.

Bass-Robinson said: “Leaves Of Grass was a bit light as a three-year-old, but she’s matured well. She looked well today and this was her main mission for the season. She’ll go the Durban for the KZN season and will be more effective over 2400m.”

Craig Carey of Ridgemont, who part-owns Leaves Of Grass with the Kieswetter brothers of Highlands Farm, concurred that Leaves Of Green will come into her own over 2400m. She’s a daughter of Dubawi’s shuttle stallion, Poet’s Voice.

Photos by Wayne Marks.



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