Kay Cee wins the Group One Kingston Town Classic (Western Racepix)
Family connections ran deep as three-year-old filly Kay Cee claimed the final Group One race in Australia for 2019.
Kay Cee made the most of her featherweight to upstage her rivals in the $1 million Kingston Town Classic over 1800m at Ascot in Perth.
She was given a dream ride from an inside barrier by Steven Parnham and rallied hard to get over the top of Gailo Chop, a seasoned Group One campaigner during many seasons of racing.
Parnham rode the filly for his father, respected Perth trainer Neville and they are celebrating their third win together in the weight-for-age race.
The jockey-trainer partnership teamed up in 2010 and 2011 with Playing God.
And therein lies even more significance to their latest success because Playing God is the sire of Kay Cee.
“It’s great to win with a daughter of Playing God. I believed in that horse,” Neville Parnham said.
“We didn’t geld him because we thought he was not mature enough in the early days.
“At three he just kept on winning. We took him east and he ran four or five Group One placings there … Australian Guineas, Australia Cup, Turnbull Stakes, all the good races.
“Then he came home to win another Kingston Town.
“It’s great to have him in Western Australia. We need a good stallion and he is by Blackfriars who has sadly passed on so I hope he can fill that void.”
@mungrup Stud’s dual G1 Kingston Town Classic winner, Playing God has now produced a Kingston Town winner himself with Kay Cee too strong over the 1800m at Ascot. Bred & raced by the Edwards family, Kay Cee is from a daughter of 3-time stakes winner Lizzy Long Legs. @PerthRacing pic.twitter.com/3cb77oY3n1— Aushorse (@Aushorse_TBA) December 7, 2019
The result meant just as much to the jockey who challenged his body for three months to make Kay Cee’s 50kg.
“Playing God was my first Group One and it was a very special moment as it was also Dad’s first Group One and to win the same race on one of his progeny is unbelievable,” he said.
“She (Kay Cee) is as tough as they come and she has just improved and cops everything that has been thrown at her.”
Kay Cee becomes the third filly in the past five years to win the Kingston Town as she follows in the hoofsteps of Arcadia Queen in 2018 and Perfect Reflection in 2015.
A winner of three races from seven starts going into the Classic, Kay Cee had her lead-up run against the males in the Group Two WA Guineas over 1600m.
Kay Cee flew home late in just failing to catch stablemate War Saint, giving every indication she would relish a middle-distance assignment.
Aided by her rails draw, Kay Cee tracked the leader Gailo Chop and never left the fence.
She levelled up at the 150m and edged clear for a half-length win over the French-bred import who remains competitive at Group One level despite his advancing years.
The Classic was an all-Western Australia result with Playing God standing at Mungrup Stud, about 400km southeast of Perth.
Playing God was retired to stud in 2014 and not surprisingly Neville Parnham has been one of the stallion’s biggest supporters, having 12 of his progeny on his stable’s books.
He becomes the first Kingston Town Classic winner to sire a winner of Perth’s premier weight-for-age race.
Kay Cee is a homebred for Greg and Kathy Edwards and she is the second foal out of the McFlirt mare Flirt ‘n’ Hope.
Flirt ‘n’ Hope ran down the course at her only start but her mother Lizzy Long Legs was good enough to win the Group Two Scahill Stakes and take the minor placing behind the champion Northerly in the 2000 Group One Railway Stakes at Ascot.
Kay Cee’s victory will ensure the Edwards’ have another valuable broodmare on their hands, thanks to Parnham’s measured approach to the filly’s development and early education.
She was kept away from the track until stepping out in the first week of the new season but raced three times in August for two wins over sprint distances at Belmont Park.
The first public signs of her quality surfaced early last month with her win in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes against her own kind over 1400m.
“She showed ability early but we decided to hold back until she turned three,” the trainer said.
The winning connections of Kay Cee (Western Racepix)