Zoffany Filly Gains Third Stakes Win With Ease
Who’s Steph (4f Zoffany - Llew Law, by Verglas) ran out an impressive winning of the Listed Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes at Gowran Park on Sunday, a third black-type success for the Ger Lyons-trained mare.
The grey was last seen finishing second over a mile and a half on her seasonal return and dropped back in trip at the weekend to nine and a half furlongs, though perhaps key to the style of her win was the yielding ground. She was sent off the short-priced favourite under Colin Keane and soon led, travelling well approaching the two furlong marker, from which she extended her advantage under hands a heels. Eight lengths was the winning margin, with her four rivals left to fight for placings.
Assistant trainer Shane Lyons commented after the race, “Who’s Steph needs a cut in the ground and she won't be running in all those good races if it's quick. She'll be even more effective over an extra furlong or two going forward. It's all ground dependent and it's frustrating when you have a lovely filly like that but Mr Strawbridge has been very good to us and left it to us to find the right races with the right conditions. One day it will be justified with her.”
A €40,000 yearling purchase by her trainer for Sean Jones, Who’s Steph was purchased privately by current owner George Strawbridge after winning the 1,000 Guineas Trial last April. She was bred by Patrick Headon out of a half-sister to Windsor Castle Stakes winner Hototo.