Enigmatic filly Houston Benefactor (3f Encosta de Lago x Sovereign Duchess, by Last Tycoon) cast off maiden status with a well deserved win at Canterbury on Wednesday, ending a frustrating run of minor placings.
The talented chestnut has tested the patience of trainer Anthony Cummings with her poor barrier manners in the past and tardy getaways have stood between her and victory on more than one occasion.
With a recent barrier trial to tune her up, Houston Benefactor was expected to produce her A game at Canterbury today and despite a slight hiccup at the start, all went according to plan.
She jumped cleanly, albeit up in the air, but was quickly encouraged into stride by Glynn Schofield, who produced the filly in the straight with a well timed run to win the 1100 metre dash by a length.
“At this time of year you expect these maidens to be strong and we’re hoping she will take the next step now she’s got that win behind her,” said Anthony Cummings.
Houston Benefactor had placed in three of her five previous starts and was last seen when fifth in the Group I ATC Champagne Stakes behind Helmet.
“Today was a big improvement and Glynn rode a sensible race and she did the rest,“ Cummings said.
“She’ll go to the Princess Series now and can hopefully make her presence felt.”
A $250,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the Vinery draft at the 2010 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Houston Benefactor is raced by Kevin Maloney’s Segenhoe Thoroughbreds Australia.
Bred by Gerry Harvey’s Baramul Stud, Houston Benefactor is a three-quarter sister-in-blood to champion Kiwi filly Princess Coup and is one of two winners from the Last Tycoon mare Sovereign Duchess, who is a half-sister to Princess Coup.
Also by champion sire Encosta de Lago, Princess Coup won 12 races and $2.9 million including the Group I Kelt Capital Stakes twice and the NZ Oaks, so connections will be hoping Houston Benefactor may follow in her footsteps.