Ishnana defeated a field that included Gr1 winner Tempting Fate and useful speedsters Good Rhythm, Winter Smoke [the first three horses across the line all #kznbred], Traces, Speedpoint and Hard To Play amongst them.
The Al Miqdaam galloper is raced by Thabo Mhlongo and longstanding KZN Breeder Robert Smith, Ishnana was named after a combination of Mhlongo’s children’s names, Ishmael and Nana.
Ishnana’s victory was even more special on the sentimentality front as Garth rode his dam Bird Strike for breeder-owner Robert Smith. Robert Smith also bred Serious Side (Fard), the dam of Gr1 producing sire Captain Of All.
“I finished second on Bird Strike,” says Garth Puller. I told Mr Smith that if I had ridden her the way I wanted to rather than listen to his instructions, she would have won! Just shows you – trainers aren’t always right!”
Garth also pointed out that the Smith crimson and gold silks worn by Ishnana were an antique button-up version, and were originally carried by runner of the breeder’s late Aunt Joyce Tatham. She was a leading owner and breeder in KZN for many years.
Ishnana has now won 7 races, and finished 2nd in this race previously in 2019.
Ishnana is unfortunately the last foal of Bird Strike. Bird Strike is by Champion broodmare sire Northern Guest, in turn out of a Bush Telegraph / Royal Prerogative mare, Winged Signal. This female line has produced Gr1 Champions Stakes winner Swan Prince, as well as 1987 Arcsa Champion in 1987, Mark Anthony – a Gr1 J&B Met and Queen’s Plate winner.
Al Miqdaam’s starts on the NHRA website read as follows:
2 runners, 2 wins, 2 winners, AEPR R79 125, 100% winners to runners, 9 places and 1 Black Type win!