LADY OF FLANDERS is the latest winner bred and raced by Ross Wilkinson and late wife Sandra Lawrence. She improved each time she stepped out in a jump out and in her two races earlier this preparation, and was strong in winning at Sale on Thursday.
The writing was on the wall when Lady of Flanders ran on strongly for second to SMART COUPE at Sandown earlier in July. There was some confidence she could get the job done at Sale on Thursday, and punters thought the same backing her into $2.70 favourite.
Ben Allen was keen to continue his association with Lady of Flanders and he rode her perfectly to victory. Positioned just off the pace, Ben allowed Lady of Flanders to settle comfortably despite being a little wide in the run.
Building nice momentum into the straight, Ben and our filly fought off the late challenges to win comfortably by more than a length.
Lady of Flanders is the first foal of CHARGE FORWARD mare PAS DE RETRAITE, a winner from just seven starts. Pas Des Retraite’s dam is the city-winning and stakes-placed mare DEEP IN THE WOODS who has also produced the winners BALACLAVA LADY, TINY’S LEGACY and VIKING RANSOM.
In contrast, she is one of the last foals of Danehill’s Group 1-winning sire-son VIKING RULER. A former Cambridge Stud stallion, Viking Ruler finished his stallion career at Victoria’s Mornmoot Stud, famous for being the home of CENTURY.
You may be wondering how Ross decided upon the name Lady of Flanders. Her dam Pas Des Retraite broadly means “No Retreat”. Well named being a daughter of CHARGE FORWARD. So it made sense to continue that theme.
Flanders Fields is a World War 1 battlefield in Belgian provinces of West and East Flanders. The infamous Western Front ran through Flanders Fields. The fields were unmaintained for years before they were made into a memorial and planted out with thousands of poppies.
All images: Leonie Grbic / Racing Photos