ROY Magner-trained three-year-old filly Anna Pavlova has become the latest South African-bred horse to be bought by renowned American bloodstock agent, owner and breeder, Barry Irwin.

She will be seen in the familiar red and green colours of Team Valor International on Saturday at Turffontein in the Gr2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas.

The original owners, Courtney and Megan Soal, have retained a share in the Summerhill-bred daughter of St Petersburg.  Magner remains the trainer, at least for the time being, as there are also overseas aspirations for her.

Irwin said about the well-named filly, “My main reason for the purchase is that filly’s incredible turn of foot. She also has a very powerful body.”

Irwin continued, “The filly was bought to race a few more times in South Africa, with the Gauteng Fillies Guineas first and probably the Gr1 Empress Club on April 15 next. The Gr1 SA Fillies Classic is possible, but I think she is a miler and will have to show us she wants to run further. We plan to send her to Europe by way of Mauritius. We will decide in the fall if we want to give her to Mike de Kock to go to Dubai, or leave her in France to be trained by Andre Fabre.”

The recent Gr3 Three Troikas was Anna Pavlova’s third win in succession and her fourth overall in ten career starts. She started at healthy odds of 9/1 and this was probably due to her having taken five starts to win her maiden.

However, Magner knew from day one she would go places. “She was very green in her early starts and used to duck around a lot, otherwise would have won her maiden earlier. It is really her turn of foot near the finish which makes her special,” he said.

She won on the first occasion she was stepped up beyond 1200m. Her wins have all been between 1400m and 1450m and she is yet to attempt further.

Irwin’s long list of previous South African purchases in training reads like the glitterati of local star fillies and include Ipi Tombe, Warning Zone, Irridescence, Crimson Palace and Secret Heart.

-David Thiselton/Gold Circle.

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