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20/03/02 Regal Kiss is the Best for February

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South Australia's leading two-year-old of last season Regal Kiss has made a great start to the new year and has not surprisingly been announced as the South Australian Thoroughbred Breeders' Horse of the Month for February.

Regal Kiss, who's by the Group One winning shuttle stallion Royal Academy, was bred by Toorak Park Stud. She was retained by her breeders and is raced by Harry Parks, Trevor Robertson and Rod Fairclough.

As a two-year-old Regal Kiss shot to prominence at her very first start when she thrashed the fillies in the listed Dequetteville Stakes at Victoria Park to win by three lengths.

Sent to Melbourne at her very next start she chased home the Corstens trained Malagra Miss in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes down the straight at Flemington. In the 1000 metre races Regal Kiss beat home the Fulham Park Plate winner Mighty Raja.

For the next three starts the Leon Macdonald trained filly would be unbeaten. Her five and a half length Cheltenham Park demolition was followed up with another runaway win, this time in the listed Balcrest Stakes at her home track of Morphettville.

Any one willing to doubt the ability of the juvenile were quickly silence when she took on Australia's best fillies at her first start in Sydney and gave them a galloping lesson. With Patrick Payne in the saddle, Regal Kiss downed Faiza and the Blue Diamond winner True Jewels in the Reisling Slipper Trial at Rosehill.

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Her next run could have been her best. Having no luck with the barrier draw on the preceding Tuesday the filly was jagged back toward the tail of the field in the Golden Slipper by her new rider Damien Oliver. She then produced a power house finish to finish seventh - less than three and a half lengths from the winner Ha Ha. Had she received sufficient galloping room and not been blocked for a run there's little doubt she would have atleast placed in the world's richest juvenile event.

Regal Kiss returned to something like her best when she resumed in her home city on February 7. Jason Holder could have been mistaken for thinking he was driving a sports car. After sitting just off the pace early she sprinted home as fast as any horse could in Australia to score a commanding two and a quarter length win in the Group Three RN Irwin Stakes. The final 600 metres in the Group event was covered in a blistering 32.64 seconds!

Two weeks after her win in the Irwin the attractive filly was stepped up to Group Two class in the rich Swettenham Stud Stakes and she ran a strong second to the exciting Alan Bailey trained mare Suzy Grey.

Regal Kiss was bred to gallop. She is by the Champion European miler Royal Academy, who is a three parts brother to the siring sensation Storm Cat. At stud Royal Academy has been a tremendous success. Apart from Regal Kiss in Australia his stars have included Royal Courtship, Honour the Name, Kenwood Melody, Phoenix Park, Piccadilly Circus, Quays, Sarson Trail and the champion two-year-old Bel Esprit. In the United States he is the sire of the Breeders' Cup Mile champion Val Royal. As well as Val Royal he is the sire in the north of leading performers including Euryanthe, Lucido, Tamburlaine and Sardaukar.

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Kiss a Halo, a daughter of Don't Say Halo, is the dam of Regal Kiss. Also bred by Toorak Park Stud, Kiss a Halo has been a wonderful producer. Her first foal was a son of Bureaucracy named Rort. He was a Sandown winner at three and was metropolitan placed on numerous occasions during a short career. Her next runner was the son of Real Cash, Toorak Thunder.

Also trained by Leon Macdonald, Toorak Thunder was a speedy youngster. He won two races at two - the listed Fulham Park Plate on debut and then the Group Three Blue Diamond Preview at Caulfield.

Regal Kiss is the first locally bred galloper chosen as a South Australian Horse of the Year for 2002. A decision on the January Horse of the Month has been deferred by the committee of the South Australian Thoroughbred Breeders.

PICS - Jenny Barnes.

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