Top Priced Filly Breaks Her Maiden

Mark Smith - Sunday January 21

Twenty-four hours after Estijaab, the second top-priced filly of the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, broke her maiden at Randwick it was the turn of the sale-topping filly Al Naifa to break the ice at Sale.

The Tony McEvoy-trained filly was sent off an odds-on favourite following an impressive debut when narrowly beaten at Moonee Valley on December 8.

The daughter of Redoute's Choice travelled sweetly outside the Godolphin debutant Nivalis before Andrew Mallyon released the breaks to push her out to defeat Shadwell's Hinchinbrook filly Gheedaa by one and three-quarter lengths with Dramadale (Real Saga) back in third.

McEvoy stable representative Michael Shepherdson said they treated the race a step to better things to come.

"She was real professional today, at the Valley, if she didn't hit the front she was close to it and switched off," he said.

She has done that in her trackwork and her trials, she only does what she has too, so it was good to see her go on with it today.

"She's a filly that has always shown a high amount of talent, so today was all about giving her a good experience and try and accumulate some prizemoney which she will help her get into the better races.

A $1.8 million purchase by Tim Stakemire on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum from the Newhaven Park draft, Al Naifa is a half-sister to Group I winner and $2.8 million earner English (Encosta de Lago).

The equal third highest priced yearling filly ever by Redoute's Choice, Al Naifa is the third winner from as many foals out of the Anabaa (USA) mare Court whose five wins included the Group II AJC Sapphire Stakes and Group II BTC Champagne Classic.

Newhaven Park will offer a Snitzel filly out of Court at the Inglis Australia Easter Yearling Sale in April.

Despite being courted by Redoute's Choice, Not A Single Doubt and Medaglia d'Oro (USA) in 2016, Court failed to conceive. She was covered by Snitzel last spring.

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