All Legal’s (Al Maher – Azardi, by Desert Prince) late drive to the line continued the remarkable run for Emirates Park stallion Al Maher (Danehill – Show Dancing, by Don’t Say Halo) with milers in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
Al Maher recorded two of his three stakes victories over 1600 metres in the 2005 Group 1 Australian Guineas and 2004 Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes, leaving an example for his progeny to follow in their careers.
All Legal’s latest success, the Kevin Moses-trained gelding’s second stakes victory, was the ninth stakes win over 1600 metres for Al Maher’s progeny, representing a third of the stallion’s stakes tally.
All Legal was the longest of Al Maher’s three runners in the market for the Villiers Stakes while the sire’s six-year-old daughter Cabernet (Al Maher – Golden Weekend, by Nine Carat) was a clear second favourite behind the Darley representative Galah (Redoute’s Choice – Rinky Dink, by Distorted Humor).
Galah never featured as a serious winning chance in the $175,000 feature but Cabernet and All Legal raced together midfield before launching their bids for victory at the top of the straight. Cabernet weakened to miss a place in the final 100 metres but All Legal prevailed by a nose in a thrilling duel with Alma’s Fury (Refuse To Bend – Dance Attendance, by What A Guest) to give Moses a reward for persevering with the six-year-old after vets recommending his retirement.
“Around 12 months ago, he had problems and I had a vet look at him and he had five chips in the knee,” Moses said.
“He said `you might as well just retire him’, but I got a second opinion and the other vet said he could operate. And this is what he’s come back as.”
Moses purchased All Legal for just $25,000 out of the Lyndhurst Stud draft at the 2008 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale but the game performer has now won more than $590,000 from his 33 starts, which includes another stakes victory in the Listed Hawkesbury Ladies’ Day Cup (1300m) in the spring.
All Legal’s dam Azardi (Desert Prince – San Century, by Centaine) was a maiden after five starts but he is a half-sister to stakes winners Spurcent (Flying Spur – San Century, by Centaine), Bangalore Bullet and top Hong Kong performer Glorious Days (both Hussonet – San Century, by Centaine).
Al Maher commanded a $16,500 service fee for his 2012 book of mares.