Half to Coal Front Shocks in Debut at Newcastle

SPECIAL LADY was prepared at Kirkwood and offered for sale at the 2019 Fasig  Tipton  Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale. We send Congratulations to all her connections!

Special Lady airs upon debut at Newcastle
Special Lady airs upon debut at Newcastle

Grossick Racing Photography

Special Lady, a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile and Miner’s Secret, won at 50-1

Special Lady sprang a 50-1 shock Feb. 6, cruising to a comfortable success on debut for Newmarket trainer John Butler at Newcastle.

The filly raced prominently in the Ladbrokes Where The National Plays Novice Stakes over seven furlongs on the Tapeta surface and eased to the lead a furlong from home, before being pushed out to score by 2 1/4 lengths.

Special Lady defeated runner-up Union, a Roger Varian-trained son of New Approach, who had impressed in a similar contest over course and distance last month and was sent off the 4-9 favorite to follow up.

“I think she’s pretty decent,” jockey Barry McHugh reported after the race. “She went through the gate very well, traveled, and Johnny (Butler) just said get her switched off and ride her and see where you go from there. She gave me a nice feel when cantering down, but she looked the part and I think she’ll have quite a big future. She’s quite a highly-strung filly and she just needed to settle, but the way she slipped through the gears was nice.”

Although Special Lady was overlooked by punters, she has an impressive pedigree and had six-figure values attached to her at auction.

She was bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly from the late Pioneerof the Nile, a son of Empire Maker who left his mark at stud by supplying the likes of Triple Crown hero American Pharoah , champion 2-year-old Classic Empire , and this month’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) winner Thousand Words.

Special Lady was conceived in the covering season immediately after American Pharoah’s momentous 3-year-old season, when Pioneerof The Nile’s covering fee rocketed from $60,000 to $125,000. Sadly, the sire died suddenly from a heart attack at WinStar Farm in March 2019, aged only 13.

Unsurprisingly, considering her dam was deemed worthy of being covered by Pioneerof the Nile at a six-figure fee, Special Lady has a strong distaff pedigree too.

She is out of the unraced Mineshaft mare Miner’s Secret, who has also produced Conquest Titan (by Birdstone ), a listed winner at Woodbine and runner-up in the 2014 Holy Bull Stakes (G2), and Coal Front  (by Stay Thirsty), a dual grade 2 winner in the 2017 Amsterdam Stakes and 2019 Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City-District One.

Coal Front retired to Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky this year at a fee of $5,000 and is part of the operation’s popular Share The Upside program.

Miner’s Secret’s 4-year-old son Laafy (by Noble Mission ) was a $150,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Rabbah Bloodstock and is a dual winner for Sir Michael Stoute. He defeated the smart Not So Sleepy to take a valuable handicap at Nottingham in August.

Miner’s Secret also has a 2-year-old colt by American Pharoah that sold to Americans Robert C. Baker and William Mack for $375,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and was subsequently named Ram.

The mare, bred 3×3 to both Mr Prospector and Seattle Slew, is descended from Moyglare Stud foundation mare Grenzen, ancestress of group/grade 1 winners Casual Conquest, Go And Go, Refuse To Bend, Media Puzzle, and Twilight Agenda.

Special Lady went unsold at $335,000 as a weanling at Keeneland and failed to attain her reserve again when bidding reached $390,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last May.

She carried the silks of Anita Nicol to victory at Newcastle.