Lady Jane Digby Upsets Alexandros at Munich

Daughter of Oasis Dream scores first grade I win for trainer Mark Johnston.

Lady Jane Digby earned her first group I victory with a determined rally in the stretch to take the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (Ger-I) at Munich by a length July 25.

Third in her most recent start, the bet365 Lancashire Oaks (Eng-II) on July 3, Lady Jane Digby had recorded her only previous group race win in Germany when she won the Walther J. Jacobs-Stutenpreis (Ger-III) last August. 

Breaking alertly from the gate, Lady Jane Digby led initially before longshot White Lightning assumed control of the pace. Jockey Greg Fairley was content to let Lady Jane Digby track the leader from second, while Frankie Dettori had the favorite Alexandros forwardly placed in fourth.

White Lightning continued to lead through moderate fractions in the early stages of the race. As the field turned for home, White Lightning couldn’t sustain his lead and began to fade. Lady Jane Digby and Alexandros both swept to the front with two furlongs left. They were quickly joined by Night Magic, who rallied strongly along the inside rail.

Under a strong ride by Fairley, Lady Jane Digby took command in deep stretch and wouldn’t surrender, crossing the wire ahead of Night Magic. Alexandros held on for third, another 1 1/2 lengths farther back.

Final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:09.7 over a soft turf course.

Winning trainer Mark Johnston revealed after the race that Lady Jane Digby had suffered a serious injury at the end of 2009, but was kept in training by owner/breeder Kirsten Rausing.

“The filly broke the point of her hip at the end of last season and many owners would have decided to stop there, but Kirsten wanted to give her another go,” Johnston said.

“She had faith in her and really wanted to try and get her even a place in group I company before she went to stud,” he continued.

“The E.P. Taylor (Can-IT) in Canada later on this season was actually the target but we decided to give this a go on the way,” Johnston added. “This was a bit of a shot in the dark, but she is a consistent, tough horse.”

Lady Jane Digby is a 5-year-old mare by Oasis Dream out of Scandalette, by Niniski. She hails from the immediate female family of champions Maria Waleska and Polish Patriot.