Famous Fillies | Maria Querol

The second in our series at Kuda where we honour the fairer sex. Here we look at Maria Querol and her dam Maria Theresa after the running of the Listed Stormsvlei Stakes.
There’s a powerful chapter in the book on Pocket Power, the South African racing legend, about his mother, Stormsvlei. She won three races before injuring herself and going to stud, and in 1998 Zandvliet’s Dan de Wet bought her for R17 000 at the Natal Broodmare Sale. Two of Stormsvlei’s progeny, Pocket Power and River Jetez, went on to win the (then) J&B Met, among other Grade 1 races.
River Jetez

De Wet had sold her in 2003, in foal to Jet Master with River Jetez, but the next five years broke her. De Wet then brought the mare, a shadow of her former self, back to Zandvliet to let her live off the fat of the land where, at 21, she was euthanized in 2010.

Stormsvlei’s legacy lives on however, and the Listed Stormsvlei Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth is an annual reminder.

This year’s installment was won by Maria Querol, a three-year-old bay filly by Querari out of the Dynasty mare Maria Theresa.

Maria Querol
Maria Querol
Jockey Lyle Hewitson waving to the crowd | Kuda
Snaith Racing - Maria Querol

Now, if you Google “Maria Querol” the results will tell you that she’s a 19-year-old Spanish model and social media influencer. The equine Maria Querol was bred by the Maine Chance and Coolmore Partnership and is making her own name on the racetrack.

This was her fourth win from 11 starts and it will be interesting to see what the handicappers do with her merit rating, considering she’s currently a 96 rated and has previously been as high as 101.

Her mother is Maria Theresa, named after an 18th Century ruler of the Habsburg dominions. Basically, she was German royalty who was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia and others. So, you can sense that there is quite a bit of a European influence in both the naming of Maria Querol and also her breeding.

Image of jockey Lyle Hewitson | Kuda
Maria Querol

Her sire (father) is Querari who was German Champion Older Horse in 2010 and who has had breeding success in South Africa with Grade 1 winners Querari Falcon and Rio Querari.

Maria Querol is the result of Maria Theresa’s November 2017 mating with Querari (she was born on 17 August 2018). Maria Theresa has produced foals from five different stallions – Vercingetorix (2017), Querari (2018), Erupt (2019), William Longsword (2020) and Rafeef (2021).

Maria Corolina, by Vercigetorix, is now four and has won three races, Maria Querol (3yo) has won four, including the Listed Stormsvlei Stakes and her Erupt filly Mia Loa (2yo) has been placed in all four starts.

Interestingly, her 2021 foal, named Rhydian, is the first of five progeny to be a colt, with her previous four throws all being fillies.

Some photos courtesy of Chase Liebenberg

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