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Sarah Whitelaw

When Maria Querol won Saturday’s Listed World Sports Betting Stormsvlei Stakes, the filly claimed the second Listed win of her career with the Querari filly having also triumphed in last season’s Listed Irridescence Stakes.

The Stormsvlei Stakes was also another triumph for Maria Querol’s sire Querari, who is also sire of Stormsvlei runner up Fleeting.
Maria Querol, a R225 000 buy from the 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, is one of 30 stakes winners for her G1 winning sire -with Querari heading South Africa’s Leading Sires of 2YOs List for 2021- 2022 at the time of writing. A son of Oasis Dream, Querari has already claimed one Leading Sires of 2YOs crown -he headed that premiership in 2018-2019.

By the same sire as Saturday’s G1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas winner Native Trail, Querari has been represented by 5 stakes winners this season thus far, and, at the time of writing, was sixth on the General Sires list.

While Maria Querol is another fine advertisement to Querari, she also hails from a female line which has enjoyed notable success all over the world.

She is out of smart racemare Maria Theresa, a winner of her first two starts, when scoring over 1200m and 1400m respectively, with Maria Theresa also contesting a number of graded or listed races-her best placing in such contests coming when she finished fourth, beaten two and a half lengths by Whatalady, in the 2015 G3 Acacia Handicap.

A daughter of former Horse Of The Year and deceased top sire Dynasty (who is enjoying increasing success as a broodmare sire), Maria Theresa is also dam of Maria Corolina (by Vercingetorix) who has won three times, and her Erupt sired two-year-old Mia Loa has finished second in each of her last three starts.

Maria Theresa is out of the twice winning mare A Star For Maria, whose G1 Sussex Stakes winning sire Noverre left behind French Derby winner and top French sire Le Havre before being exported to India. A three-parts brother to remarkable two-year-old Arazi, Noverre hailed from the same female line as former successful South African sire Caesour, and he was represented in South Africa by G3 Champagne Stakes winner Katici Princess (a half-sister to deceased highly successful KZN sire Kahal and dam of G2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas third placegetter Frosty Friday). Katici Princess was produced by a daughter of Green Desert -the grandsire of Querari.

A Star For Maria, a daughter of the Red Ransom mare Laoub, was a half-sister to a pair of stakes winners in the form of Bannock and Moulin Lady respectively, while her three-parts sister Raheights (by Noverre’s highly successful sire Rahy) left beind G3 P J Bell Stakes winner Diddums.

Laoub, in turn, was a half-sister to Canadian Horse Of The Year, and G1 First Lady Stakes winner, Never Retreat (by Smart Strike), while further back, this is the family of leading US sire Distorted Humor.

The latter, whose G1 winning sons Flower Alley and Pathfork have both sired G1 winners in South Africa, came up with a 19th G1 winner when his son Santin captured the G1 Old Bourbon Forester Turf Classic Stakes earlier in 2022.

Pensioned in 2021, Distorted Humor has well over 160 stakes winners to his tally including US classic winners Funny Cide and Drosselmeyer, the aforementioned Flower Alley and Pathfork, successful US sire Maclean’s Music, and dual G1 Whitney Handicap winner Commentator.

A son of Forty Niner, Distorted Humor failed to win a G1 race during his racing career, with his biggest win coming in the G2 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup Stakes of 1998 and the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes of the same year.

Remarkably, there is an even better sire in this female line than Distorted Humor -Maria Querol is herself directly descended in female line from the Ballot mare Rose Leaves, dam of five times US champion sire Bull Lea.

Picture: The Justin Snaith-trained Maria Querol (dayglo yellow with purple spots) wins the Listed WSB Stormsvlei Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth Winter course on Saturday for owners Greg Bortz and Braam van Huysteen (Wayne Marks).