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Saint Cecile's classy Scottish connections

Nigel Auret, who owns, trains and bred Saint Cecile, winner of Saturday's New Zealand Bloodstock Breeders' S. G1, explained to the Waikato Times last month that all Saint Cecile's relations have names fit for a castle.

"We have family links to Delgatie Castle in northern Scotland and that's how our mare Delgatie Queen got her name," Auret said.
"All Delgatie Queen's foals have names linked to the castle. Her first foal, Rohaisha, was named after the castle ghost, and Saint Cecile shares a name with a room in the castle.
"The third foal, Pompeiian Tulip, is named after the castle's Tulip room."

All three have been winners so Auret isn't about to stop here with his naming policy - and there's plenty of room to move.
"There's 52 rooms in the castle and they will keep us going for a little while yet," he said.

Saint Cecile is the most accomplished of Delgatie Queen's foals to date with eight wins, culminating in her defeat of an outstanding field of fillies and mares at Te Aroha last Saturday. However, this season has been anything but straightforward for Saint Cecile.

A minor injury forced her out of the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes at Hastings last August, and she didn't have her first five-year-old start until the Kelt Memorial LR (1400m) on September 29, which she duly won.
She then finished down the track on unsuitable heavy ground in the Group One Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) on October 20, and since then injury and wet tracks have kept her off the racetrack.
"She was ready to race at Christmas before she got a stone bruise, which put us back," Auret said.
"We tried to get her ready for the Thorndon Mile (on January 26) but she was only 85 per cent fit and you can't win a race like that unless you are absolutely right."

Saint Cecile gave no sign of the season's difficulties at Te Aroha when sent forward early by David Walsh, rolling along easily in front, raising the tempo at the 600-metre mark and running her opposition off their feet in a time of 1:34.81. She won the race last year in similar fashion, when it had Group Two status.


- with thanks to Alastair Bull, Waikato Times