Explosive Return for the Darling of Sydney Racing - Fangirl

Tara Madgwick - Saturday February 17

The $300,000 Group II ATC Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday is the traditional starting point for elite WFA horses seeking autumn glory in Sydney and the first three over the line showed cream does indeed rise to the top with Fangirl breathtakingly good in beating her stable-mate Militarize with Think It Over a gallant third.

Fangirl cruises clear in the G2 Apollo Stakes - image Steve Hart

Fangirl soared to new heights last spring winning the Group I ATC King Charkes Stakes and Winx Stakes with the Chris Waller trained daughter of Sebring looking even better again when she stepped into the yard on Saturday.

Heavily backed following a couple of good recent trials, Fangirl has made significant physical improvement from the spring and raced accordingly. The five year-old settled back in the field as is her usual pattern of racing and she unleashed a dazzling finishing sprint under a hands and heels ride from James McDonald.

Fangirl made it look like a working gallop as she sauntered past her rivals to win by two and a half lengths eased down.


James McDonald was glowing in his praise of Fangirl, whose overall record stands at eight wins and seven placings from 24 starts with $7.5million in prizemoney.

“She's come back in beautiful order and dare I say it, it will take a good one to beat her this prep. It felt like I was on Dundeel in the Derby again, just idle up the rise and basically felt like an exhibition gallop really for her.

“It was just a matter of getting her into her rhythm and she does the rest. She's just a beautiful mare and well-named, beautiful colours on her.

“Her work has been sensational, her trials. Take her formlines I suppose, apart from that Champion Stakes after a hard run Cox Plate that was her only glitch in her form and that wasn't really a glitch it was because the track was on fire and we couldn't make ground.”

Fangirl has a big fan in James McDonald - image Steve Hart

Chris Waller is no stranger to success in the Apollo Stakes, using it as the starting point for his past champion Winx in her autumn preparations and Fangirl will continue on the same path with the Chipping Norton (G1 1600m), Ryder Stakes (G1 1500m)and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1 2000m) her likely program.

A homebred for the Ingham family, Fangirl was foaled and raised at Coolmore before being broken in and educated at their Jerry’s Plains headquarters. She is the best of five winners from stakes-winning Encosta de Lago mare Little Surfer Girl, a daughter of  triple Group I winner Special Harmony.

Little Surfer Girl has a yearling filly by Wootton Bassett (GB) and a colt by Home Affairs, who covered her again last year.




Race Result - Petaluma Apollo Stakes Gr2 1400m

Randwick Track: Soft(5) Time: 1:21.63
- 5m Sebring (AUS) x Little Surfer Girl (AUS) (Encosta De Lago (AUS))
Tnr: C J Waller Rdr: J B Mc Donald 57
- 3c Dundeel (NZ) x Amerindia (GB) (Dubawi (IRE))
Tnr: C J Waller Rdr: K Mc Evoy 55.5
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $550,000
Seller: Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW
Buyer: China Horse Club/Newgate Bloodstock/Trilogy Racing
Think It Over
- 8g So You Think (NZ) x Personal Service (AUS) (Zabeel (NZ))
Tnr: K J Parker Rdr: N Rawiller 59
So You Think
Navajo Peak
- 5g Territories (IRE) x Ship Rock (AUS) (Authorized (IRE))
Tnr: David Payne Rdr: J R Collett 59
- 5h Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Roheryn (IRE) (Galileo (IRE))
Tnr: C J Waller Rdr: Tommy Berry 59
- 4g Lonhro (AUS) x Self Esteem (AUS) (Stratum (AUS))
Tnr: C J Waller Rdr: Tim Clark 59
- 7g Lope De Vega (IRE) x Alzubra (GB) (Dansili (GB))
Tnr: Bjorn Baker Rdr: J Parr 59
- 5g I Am Invincible (AUS) x Affable (AUS) (Husson (ARG))
Tnr: Sara Ryan Rdr: Regan Bayliss 59
- 9g New Approach (IRE) x Falls Of Lora (IRE) (Street Cry (IRE))
Tnr: James Cummings Rdr: Zac Lloyd 59
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