Lady of the Light


The North’s latest boom two year old filly Lady of the Light remains unbeaten after five race starts over the past two months. Trained by Pukekohe’s Jeremy Young on behalf of her  large ownership team of Dr I S Bridge, Mrs R P Bridge, Mrs S E McKendry, D Curran, P Fisher, A Hassall, S Hassall, Nevele R Stud Ltd, Organ Donation Saves Lives Syndicate and Zinnycef Syndicate.

High expectations have placed on the bigger and faster filly than trainer Young’s previous best Great Northern Oaks winning filly Best Western (1:57.0, $171,976), second Breeders Crown – 3f). The former travelling foreman for Auckland Reactor (seventeen consecutive wins at beginning of career) is again experiencing a picket fence form line with a horse he is associated with.

Lady Of The Light commenced her winning sequence in mid-September with the first of five victories at northern headquarters Alexandra Park. Driven by Nicky Chilcott in her only experience at a distance greater than 1700m, it is the only time where her mile rate has not been sub two minutes (2200m, 2:01.9). Four victories at 1700m for regular driver Maurice McKendry include a best mile rating of 1:55.8 and the second heat of the Dunstan Horsefeeds NZSS two year old fillies’ series. Qualified for the Group One final on New Year’s Eve at Alexandra Park, she will her line up against southern raiders including 2f NZSS (April 2021) and Caduceus Club Classic winner True Fantasy and Remember Me.

With high credentials the daughter of Bettors Delight from Falcon Seelster mare Steel The Light was bred by Woodlands Stud. A member of the Australian family of Verity A1, Lady Of the Light’s female tail line reveals an unusual situation where there are only eight removes from foundation mare Verity to Lady Of the Light over one hundred and twenty years. The gaps between foals range from nine years through to twenty one (Light Pearl to Light Lobell), twenty two (Pearlchild to Vanity Fair) and twenty three years (Light Lobell to Star Empress).

Lady Of The Light is the third foal of five for her 2009 Falcon Seelster dam Steel The Light, bred by John Green, the winner of seven races, three at Alexandra Park, 2:00.4, $40,639. Her first two foals both by Bettors Delight are five win gelding Steel the Show, 1:59.2, $120,828, second Methven Cup, third Taylor Mile/Kaikoura Cup, fourth NZ Cup and second foal colt Jett Star, the winner of nine from thirteen starts to date in WA (five at Gloucester Park), 1:55.4AUS, $ 101,452, WA Pearl – 2. She has also left yearling Bettors filly Kourtney Kardash and an unnamed Sweet Lou weanling colt.

Grand dam Star Empress (Fake Left), fifteen QLD wins (five Albion Park), 1:57.4, $50,859, dam of seven foals, five raced for three winners including American Ideal mare American Empress, nineteen wins (four NZ, all at Alexandra Park/fifteen NA), 1:54.8NZ, 1:51.2US, $292,199. Trained by Jeremy Young, her major placings in NZ included second in Northern Mares Classic and thirds in three year old fillies Ladyship Stakes and NZSS final; Northern Breeders Stakes, NZ Breeders Stakes and Uncut Gems Mares Classic.

Third dam Light Lobell (Mark Lobell) bred by Doug Grantham was an Australian winner in 2:10.7AUS, $750 and dam of sixteen foals, nine to race, eight winners including Lightfoot Lady (Fake Left), 1:56.9AUS (Parklands Raceway, Gold Coast), $57,298, nine wins and eight placings from eighteen starts, QBred Breeders Classic – 2f, dam of five foals, two raced for a winner Darkwing, thirteen QLD wins (nine Albion Park), 1:57.7, $68,338.

Fourth dam Light Pearl (Light Brigade), non-winning pacer, $80, dam of thirteen foals, seven to race, five winners including Garrison Forbes, q1:59.3US (Vernon Downs), $102,900, winner of six at Melbourne Showgrounds; Honiton, unraced dam of Honiton Vance, four NZ wins, 1:56.2US, $74,160, Stratford Cup; Petite Pearl, 2:10.2AUS, dam of four winners, grand dam of SA Breeders Plate winner I’m Regal, dam of Barossa Baron, 2:00.6, $278,758 VIC Oceania El Dorado – 3c, SA St Leger and Guineas; Purleen, dam of Lord Toronaga, six NZ wins, 1:55.0US, $63,997, Cambridge Cup.

The family then traces back to Verity through Taras Hall (dam of sire Ardri; fourth dam of WA pacer Palimar), Vanity Fair (fourth dam of open class pacer Co Pilot; seventh dam of AUS Derby winner Halyer) and Pearlchild (dam of sire Casanova – Dominion Hcp winners Casabianca/Precaution; NZ Derby winners Childe Pointer/Ciro and numerous producing mares).

At present Lady Of The Light’s form shines brightly leading into major juvenile races ahead. She may well prove in time to be the cream of Steel the Light’s crop.

Words | Peter Craig. Image | Harness Racing NZ