Animal Kingdom’s 3YO daughter – and Arrowfield Magic Millions graduate – I Am Queen streeted a strong maiden field by 4.3 lengths on debut in New Zealand on Saturday.
The chestnut filly started favourite after two good trial placings and took up the running alongside Excaliffraaj after jumping well from gate 2. Excaliffraaj ran off on the turn but I Am Queen held her line, quickened up sharply when asked by jockey Danielle Johnson and raced away to win in a time of 58.39 for the 1000-metre journey.
I Am Queen is the fourth foal and third winner out of the very good US racemare Cat By The Tale (by Tale of the Cat) and is trained by Stephen Marsh who said, “She’s not a 1000-metre horse, but she showed a good turn of foot and she won really well in the end….she’ll be better in the Autumn.”
The filly’s Waikato owner Roger Blunt bought the Arrowfield & Cloros Bloodstock-bred filly for $310,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale and he was naturally delighted with her first-up success.
“She showed ability from the start, but we’ve been patient with her and she did well, it’s been a great day at the races!
“We like Animal Kingdom, and she’s so similar to him, she has a lovely nature.”
This tallies with the observations of Animal Kingdom’s trainer Graham Motion about the yearling I Am Queen, which he reported in his sale blog for Thoroughbred Daily News at the time: “[She] is very athletic and attractive, with a lovely walk and a real presence about her. I’ve had photos taken with her a few times now and she handles it all very well. She just has a really nice way about her.”
A Magic Millions Guineas campaign was derailed by wet Spring weather in New Zealand, but Roger Blunt hopes I Am Queen will justify a trip back cross the Tasman at some stage during her career. In the meantime, New Zealand’s Filly of the Year series offers tempting possibilities.
I Am Queen is the 13th winner from Animal Kingdom’s first Australian crop which also includes the Group-placed pair Peaceful State and Lord Cecil, recent winners White Boots and Seductive Miss, and Miss Finland’s debut-winning daughter Earth Angel, now preparing for an Autumn campaign.
The Kentucky Derby winner’s first US crop has produced 10 juvenile winners headed by Grade 2 winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf G1 runner-up Untamed Domain, and Listed winners Continental Divide & Sunny Skies.
There are 11 yearlings by Animal Kingdom on offer at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, with six colts and 3 fillies in Arrowfield’s consignment.
Also in the Stud’s barn at Magic Millions will be Lot 591, the Redoute’s Choice-Cat by the Tale colt, a full brother to the Group-placed city winners Raphael’s Cat and Tale of Choice. Cat by the Tale has a 2YO filly named Keiai Tsubaki with Gerald Ryan, a filly foal by Real Impact and a positive test to Maurice.