Vikja King became the latest stakes winner for Victorian stallion Viking Ruler with a surprise victory in the Listed NZ St Leger at Trentham on Saturday.
Owned and trained by Gary Freeman at Kopane near Palmerston North, Vikja King came from well off the pace to defeat Deputy (Deputy Governor) and Ascolini (Bertolini). He started a $24 outsider and was winning for just the second time after a maiden victory at Awapuni in November.
Vikja King (4g Viking Ruler – Lithe by Zabeel) is the first winner from a mare who won three races up to 2200m at the Sunshine Coast. Second dam Precocity (Vice Regal) was a Listed winner of the Avondale Classic and the extended family includes Champion NZ 2YO Lycra (Tights).
The St Leger winner was a $10,000 buy as a foal from Walnut Hill Farms at the 2007 NZ Bloodstock National weanling sale. His dam has a yearling filly by Viking Ruler and a filly foal by Keeper.
Viking Ruler started stud life at Cambridge Stud before transferring to Mornmoot Stud in Victoria. He is the sire of 119 individual winners of 282 races in 16 countries headed by the G1 winners Red Ruler (NZ International Stakes) and Court Ruler (Queensland Derby).
Vikja King is bred on the same Viking Ruler – Zabeel cross as the Bart Cummings trained Kroner (G2 STC Premiere Stakes).
Viking Ruler (Danehill) is from the legendary Eight Carat family and is a brother to fellow Victorian based sire Kempinsky. He stood for a $6,600 fee in his first season at Mornmoot Stud in 2010.