Mdk’s high praise for filly

ISLE De France comes from a family of wonderful fillies and Mike de Kock had something special to say after the three-year-old by VAR from Ilha Bela made a riveting debut over 1450m at Turffontein Saturday, racing under Gavin Lerena.

“Of all the members of her family I’ve trained, she reminds me most of her granddam, Ilha Da Vitoria,” Mike said, remembering the star Gr1 Summer Cup winner of 2005. “She has the same grey coat, she’ll get lighter as she matures, and she quickens extremely well. She’s not as small as Ilha Da Vitoria and the rest, just a bit bigger, but she has her grandma’s style.”

Isle De France brings back treasured memories.

Isle De France brings back treasured memories.


Ilda Da Vitoria produced Oaks Trial winner Ilha Grande (by Tiger Ridge), who in turn produced Gr1 SA Classic winner Orchid Island (by Silvano).  Ilha Bela (by Fort Wood) was similarly talented. She was a runaway winner of the SA Oaks and twice a fancied runner in the Gr1 Summer Cup, though she couldn’t emulate her own dam’s extraordinary feats.

But now, perhaps Ilha Bela’s first foal is the one that will hit the headlines in similar fashion and Mike added: “We’ve sat on Isle De France, she took a bit of time to mature and she was still green on Saturday. One should not get carried away, but the Maiden form looks quite good. We’re excited about her, well done to Mary Slack at Wilgerbosdrift and the Mauritzfontein partnership for producing another quality filly from a super family.”