First winner by Animal Kingdom

Dubai World Cup and Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom registered his first winner on Wednesday when Arrowfield Stud’s home-bred 2yo filly Earth Angel won on debut over 1200m at Ballarat.

There was no mistaking her parentage as the imposing chestnut filly stretched out in the home straight to score by a half-length from Holy Mind.

“She is doing it on raw ability at the moment,” jockey Damien Oliver said.  “She got a little whack over the head with the whip accidentally coming to the turn in a bit of a tight gap there, which just baulked her a little bit.  She was full of running coming to the line and the further she went, the stronger she got.”

Like her champion dam Miss Finland (Redoute’s Choice), Earth Angel is trained by David Hayes, now operating in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig.  Miss Finland also won the first race in her stellar $4.60 million career including the 2006 Golden Slipper, VRC Oaks and three other Group 1 races.

Earth Angel is Miss Finland’s sixth foal and third winner after Stay With Me (G1 Thousand Guineas) and stakes-placed city winner Woodbine.  Her yearling colt by Dundeel was bought by Boomer Bloodstock for $900,000 at January’s Magic Millions Sale and Miss Finland is now in foal to Japan’s supersire Deep Impact.

Both David Hayes and managing owner John Messara confirmed that Earth Angel will not be rushed along this season and, all going well, her next start will be in the LR Fernhill Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on April 8.

“Everything about her indicates she is going to be a filly that will develop in to a serious three-year-old,” Messara declared.  “Her sire Animal Kingdom is a Derby winner and anything that his progeny are doing at two is simply a bonus.

“Earth Angel is still learning but what I liked most about her win was the last 50 metres, she exploded through the line, we think she is pretty special.”

In addition to Earth Angel, Animal Kingdom has had four placegetters including Momentum To Win in Sydney and another Arrowfield filly, Desert Flower.

He has 11 second-crop yearlings on offer at the upcoming Inglis Easter Sale, among them two colts out of the Aga Khan mares Vadaiyma and Zarakiysha, the daughter of a half-sister to Champion USA Filly Beholder and a filly descended from Champion mare and great producer Horlicks.

Animal Kingdom filly pictured as a foal at Arrowfield Stud