“IT’s all in the blood” for three-year-old filly Lady Of Steel, who won Saturday’s Gr3 Acacia Handicap over 1600m with an impressive galloping display, her fourth successive win from as many starts. She will now be aimed at the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes, a race that her dam, Fair Maiden, won in 2006.
Lammerskraal-bred Lady Of Steel (7-2), by the rising star stallion Gimmethegreenlight, overcame a wide draw by gradually moving inwards and finding herself near the inside running rail after just 400m of the race had been run.
All the right gaps seemed to open for Lady Of Steel when the 16-horse field turned for home. She enjoyed a trouble-free run, put herself in contention 300m out and then quickened away under a peach of ride from Chase Maujean. The winning distance over Virginia was 2.25-lengths, with Querari Ferrari a quarter length back in third and Perfect Tigress in fourth.
Maujean said: “Lady Of Steel’s work has been phenomenal. I was a bit worried about the step up and our 13 draw, but she’s good. She picked it up well in the straight and kept on finding.”
Trainer Johan Janse Van Vuuren commented: “This race was always on her programme. We didn’t have enough time to get her ready for last year’s Guineas. I knew that we had to get lucky on the day and we did, she got one off the fence. She has one helluva turn of foot and there’s no end to her, it doesn’t feel if she’s ever going to stop. I’m going to nominate her for the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes, it’s time we have a proper crack.”
Justin Vermaak of Vermaak Equine, who brought Lady Of Steel to Janse Van Vuuren’s stable from Joey Ramsden’s yard, paid tribute to her Qatar-based owners, Renier and Gemma Breitenbach. He said: “They are passionate owners who have re-invested every year.
“I have to pay homage to Joey, who bought her as a yearling at the National Two-Year-old Sale, she was not a cheap horse. Renier and Gemma supported Joey when he had his yard here, he trainer her as a two-year-old. He and Ricardo Sabotker always said that she was something really talented.
“When Joey closed up shop, Renier asked me to help him with his horses. We sent Lady Of Steel to Johannesburg on a New Turf Carriers float and Johan has done a phenomenal job with her, like only a good trainer can do.”
Lady Of Steel has earned R270, 000 from her four wins. With bigger prizes now obviously looming, and judged on the way she handles herself and the manner in which she quickens, plenty more can be expected.