Animal Kingdom off the mark with his first winner

Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom with trainer Graham Motion

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Animal Kingdom off the mark with first winner By James Thomas 1:38PM 8 MAR 2017

KENTUCKY Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom sired his first winner on Wednesday when the two-year-old filly Earth Angel got up late to land race three at Ballarat in Australia.

Racing in the colours of John Messara's Arrowfield Stud, the farm at which Animal Kingdom stood the southern hemisphere breeding season from 2013 to 2015, Earth Angel showed her inexperience early in the straight, but once jockey Damien Oliver angled her into daylight her class showed as she quickened to the front inside the final furlong.

She passed the line half a length to the good and plainly had more than the bare margin in hand.

"She's doing it on raw ability at the moment," said Oliver. "She got a little whack over the head with the whip accidentally coming to the turn in a bit of a tight gap there, which just baulked her a little bit. She was full of running coming to the line and the further she went, the stronger she got."

The filly was bred by Arrowfield out of Miss Finland, a daughter of Redoute's Choice who was crowned champion two- and three-year-old, and whose 11 racecourse successes include the 2006 renewal of the prestigious Golden Slipper.

Earth Angel maintained the family tradition of making a winning debut at Ballarat, emulating her dam who got off the mark back in 2006.

Earth Angel is the sixth foal out of Miss Finland, with her other offspring including Group 1 winner Stay With Me and the Listed-placed Woodbine. Her seventh foal, a colt by Dundeel, went the way of Boomer Bloodstock for A$900,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January.

Miss Finland is back in foal to champion Japanese sire Deep Impact.

Animal Kingdom, a nine-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux who won five of his 12 races for Graham Motion, is due to return to Arrowfield for the 2017 southern hemisphere covering season.

He is currently stationed at Darley's Jonabell Farm in Kentucky, where his fee is $30,000. His first northern hemisphere two-year-olds will be hitting the track later this year. His first northern hemisphere book included top-level winners Honey Ryder and Shadow Cast.

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