HEADSTRONG posted another impressive win, her seventh from 13 starts, in a Conditions Plate over 1200m on sand at the Vaal on Tuesday, beating the classy ‘Queen Of The Sand’, Cinnamon Sugar, by 2.25-lengths.
The five-year-old daughter of Pivotal showed exceptional pace throughout the race and she kicked away from the opposition with 300m to run. Cinnamon Sugar tried hard to breach the gap, but jockey Anthony Delpech had the race sewn up a long way out and eased her down at the line.
Delpech said: “Headstrong is one of my favourites in the stable. She keeps getting better. We were beaten by Igugu last time, but the pace didn’t really suit her. She’s top class and it’s a privilege to ride her. Thanks to Mike and Mrs (Mary) Slack.”
Mike commented: “Headstrong is another example of how runners bred in the Northern Hemisphere improve over time and this is something that must always be considered by form students. Northern Hemisphere fillies are six months behind our locally-breds and only come into their own when they mature and catch up.
“Headstrong is a super horse and she’s versatile. She likes grass but seems especially fond of the sand track. Her sire Pivotal, who stands at Cheveley Park Stud, Newmarket, is the leading stallion in the UK and a sensation in Europe. He has a soft-ground influence on most of his progeny and it is interesting that this mare enjoys the firm, fast sand surface.
“Buyers sometimes fall into the trap of categorizing stallions from certain regions because of biased individual perceptions, but in reality one limits your options if you don’t do your homework. A number of the top sires abroad are producing runners who are effective on all surfaces these days.
“Headstrong will be a big asset to Wilgerbosdrift Stud. Mary Slack’s commitment to bring top international female lines to South Africa has already paid off and will do so handsomely in years to come. This is good for local racing and for future sales, because catalogues that carry a greater international influence will attract more bloodstock buyers from abroad. They’re always on the lookout for the best female lines to be acquired at the best prices.”