by Sarah Whitelaw
Saturday’s G3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery winner Epsom Girl looks to have plenty of upside to her, if pedigree is anything to go by.
The two-year-old is a daughter of G1 Vodacom Durban July winner Pomodoro (who dead-heated for first place in the 2012 G1 SA Derby) out of the Tiger Ridge mare Epsom Downs.
The latter won twice including the Listed Oaks Trial over 2000m and was a full-sister to the stakes placed Pemberley -who won twice over 1200m, but who was placed up to 1800 metres.
Epsom Downs and Pemberley were produced by the twice winning, up to 1450m, Derby Strike -herself a daughter of Epsom Derby winner Shaamit. (Shaamit in turn was a son of dual Coral-Eclipse Stakes winner Mtoto, whose other notable runners included the G1 Gold Cup winner Celeric and top-class National Hunt sire Presenting).
Derby Strike, whose sire’s best runner was St Leger winner Bollin Eric, was a half-sister to Kochka -South Africa’s Champion 2YO Colt/Gelding of 2013, and G1 Golden Horse Sprint/G1 Mercury Sprint runner up National Title.
Her own dam, the stakes winning Elliodor mare, Little Strike, was a full-sister to Leopard Strike -winner of the inaugral Bloodline Million. Derby Strike’s granddam Let Kiss, winner of the WP Fillies Nursery, and she is ancestress of a host of high-class performers including graded stakes winning two-year-olds Dash For Gretna (whose dam is a full-sister to Little Strike) and Twilight Moon (the latter having gone on to win in Hong Kong under the name of Super Dobbin).
Let Kiss’s dam Leucothea also ranks as the third dam of globetrotting champion Jay Peg and dual G2 Hawaii Stakes winner Whiteline Fever.
Let Kiss, in turn, is directly descended in female line from the Broomstick mare Frillery -whose son Bunting won the Futurity Stakes and whose Beldame winning daughter Frillette was a very influential producer in her own right.
Epsom Girl, a R15 000 purchase from the 2021 CTS Farm Yearling Sale, is not the first runner by her sire Pomodoro to make an impression at two. South Africa’s Leading First Season of 2017-2018, Pomodoro came out firing with his initial two-year-olds, which included Return Flight (Equus Champion 2YO Filly of 2017-2018) and the G2 SA Nursery/G3 Protea Stakes runner up Cirillo.
This crop also included another smart two-year-old in the form of Listed Storm Bird Stakes runner up Royal Italian.
Subsequent crops have produced the stakes winning two-year-old Caralluma, stakes placed two-year-old Bound By Duty, G2 Durban Golden Horseshoe runner up Putontheredlight, and the useful Barzalona.
The latter, winner of this season’s Need For Speed Sprint, was runner up in both the 2021 Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes and Listed World Sports Betting Somerset 1200.