We’ve written many times in the last 16-odd years about the diminutive grey champion mare Ilha Da Vitoria (died 2016) and her offspring, using the headline, “it’s all in the blood”. Mike de Kock almost surprised himself on Saturday when referring to Ilha Da Vitoria as the granddam of Saturday’s MR89 Handicap winner Bonete, by Querari. Time really flies, as it feels like just the other day when she romped home in the 2005 G1 Summer Cup.
Bonete is the latest promising filly from that prolific female line, already renowned for producing the likes of top class Oaks Trial winner Ilha Grande, SA Fillies Classic winner Orchid Island and Boneta’s dam Ilha Bela, herself an Oaks winner.
“Hey Boss, that was pretty good, right?”
Bonete has now, not surprisingly at all, emerged as a 2023 Oaks contender and Mike said: “Her pedigree is packed with classic winners and Oaks. She won a superb race today giving weight to male runners. The second horse moved up smartly to run her down, but she changed legs and put him to bed.
“Bonete loved the 1800m today and we will prepare her into the 2023 SA Fillies Classic and then the Oaks, a route which may or may not go via the Guineas. I am not sure she is suited to 1600m. Her saddle slipped in the Fillies Mile but I was not convinced she enjoyed the mile. We saw today how she stayed on over further, so we may decide to go for the Sea Cottage Stakes over 1800m as her first run into the Oaks next month.”
Jockey Randall Simons wanted early cover so that Bonete wouldn’t over-race, but she was unable to slot in behind a few others. That she still won so well shows that she is improving and getting more sensible with every run. “Our plan was for her to get cover. Being one or two off the fence is not always a good position to be in,” said Mike.
Randall himself praised the performance of Wilgerbosdrift-bred Bonete, who races in the silks of Mary Slack, like most of her siblings that came before her.
Posing in her Betway blanket.