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A return to the sprints of What A Winter’s smashing daughter Magical Wonderland was probably the performance of the day on Friday, the first day of the 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival at Kenilworth.

A Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, Magical Wonderland won the Gr2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes without much fuss, producing another great advert for the January 20 and 21 Sale.

Freshened up and reverting to her favourite track and trip, Aldo Domeyer had the beautiful filly – racing for the first time in the Bryn Ressell silks – well off the gallop set by Green Plains and Shufoog.

The race appeared wide open at just under the halfway marker. But looking as if she had sprouted wings, Magical Wonderland scythed between runners at the 300m pole.

She put her ears back and under a hands ride – with Aldo Domeyer glancing around – she bounded clear to score a facile geared-down two length success in a time of 71,95 secs.

“Magical Wonderland is a top filly, I had to lose a few pounds to ride her but it was well worth it,” said Domeyer of the daughter of the Mike Bass stable’s former star sprinter What A Winter.

“I have a few What A Winter’s in my stable, including some nice two-year-olds. Some of them run like him, they are a pleasure to train,” said trainer Candice Bass-Robinson, who won two Cartier-sponsored events last season and also picked up Friday’s preliminary, the R150,000 Ardmore Jamaica Handicap (Listed) with imported Leaves Of Grass.

A R450 000 purchase at CPYS in 2016, Magical Wonderland has won 5 races with 1 place from 7 starts for stakes of R667 500. She was recently purchased by her original partners Marsh Shirtliff and Bryn Ressell out of the Mayfair Speculators dissolution of racing interests.
Bred by Maine Chance Farms, the winner is out of the unraced Magical Miss (Al Mufti).

She looks an exciting sprint prospect and is likely to line up in mixed company in the US$500 000 CTS 1200 on Sun Met day.

-Extracts from Sporting Post and Turf Talk.