EKTIFAA (AUS) became the latest on a growing list of stakes winners bought in Australia by Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai’s Shadwell Racing, for trainer Mike de Kock in South Africa. Ektifaa ran on gamely for Callan Murray to win Saturday’s Gr2 Choice Carriers 1400m from Sail, Final Judgement and Smokey Affair.
De Kock has already won a number of Graded and Listed races with Shadwell Australia’s purchases including Ertijaal, Banaadeer, Majmu and Entisaar. This latest gutsy bay filly by More Than Ready looks promising enough to add more features to her name.
The strength of this field was regarded as good – De Kock believes the three-year-olds this season are better than last year and he said: “Ektifaa won a handicap after her Maiden and now this Grade 2 race.
“Joey Ramsden’s Table Bay got beaten in his prep MR84 Handicap recently, he won a big race today. Ektifaa won her MR76 prep very well, any three-year-old that can win a handicap at this time of year is above average, so we decided to go for the Choice Carriers instead of the Starling Stakes.”
The Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas could be a next mission for Ektifaa and De Kock said: “Her pedigree suggests that the mile will be her maximum, she will be stretched, but she is a scopy filly and if she draws well we may take our chances. We have a few good three-year-olds this season so we can pick our races.
“Ektifaa is a scopier filly than Entisaar, who was beaten in the Choice Carriers last year and didn’t quite see out the Guineas mile. Ektifaa was aggressively ridden today and was green on the bend, so there was good merit in this win.”
Ektifaa is by More Than Ready and the first foal of Stellar Vinia (by Varick), bred by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds. She is a half-sister to champion NZ sprinter and miler Calveen along with stakes winners Kosi Bay, Fireworks and Striker, and was offered at the 2015 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale in the draft of Segenhoe Stud, selling to Shadwell Australia for $600,000.
Stellar Vinia has an un-raced two-year-old by Sepoy named Stellara, a yearling by Sebring and went back to Sebring last season.
Photo: Ektifaa wins Choice Carriers. (Wayne Marks).