The well-bred filly Key (3 f Exceed And Excel - Vanilla Princess by Lonhro) shed her maiden status on the first attempt when she impressively landed a race over 1200 metres at Otaki on Thursday.
The three-year-old filly surged clear to beat Landry (El Roca) by three lengths, while Liquid Les (Echoes Of Heaven) was another four and a half lengths further away in third.
Purchased by Gary Harding for $550,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, the filly is one of two winners out of winning Lonhro (Octagonal) mare Vanilla Princess.
Vanilla Princess herself is a daughter of multiple Group 1-winning champion Princess Coup (Encosta De Lago), who is also the dam of Group 3 winner Thewizardofoz (Redoute’s Choice).
Princess Coup herself is out of the multiple stakes winner Stoneyfell Road (Sovereign Red) and she is a grandam of Group 2 winner Sovereign Nation (Encosta De Lago).
Vanilla Princess’ colt by Pride Of Dubai (Street Cry) - now named Dubai Nights - was passed in after failing to make his $160,000 reserve at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale earlier this year, before being snapped up by Peter Moody and Dalziel Bloodstock for $140,000 at Round 2 of the Inglis Yearling Sale later on in the year. In 2019 the mare foaled a colt by So You Think (High Chaparral) and produced a sister to Key this year.
Being out of a Lonhro mare the filly is bred on the same cross that has produced four stakes winners, including Group 3-winning trio Manicure, Resin and Minhaaj.
Exceed And Excel is the sire of 177 stakes winners and his progeny is headed by 15 top-flight winners including Microphone, who is standing his first season alongside his sire at Darley's Kelvinside base, while fellow elite level winner Exceedance has joined the Vinery Stud roster this spring. Exceed And Excel himself is standing for $132,000 (inc GST) at Kelvinside.