TORONTO, October 12, 2022 — Ancient Spirit and A Touch of Red, a pair of homebreds trained by Sid Attard for Howard Walton, will be looking to continue their winning ways in Friday’s South Ocean Stakes.

The South Ocean is a 6 1/2 -furlong main-track race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies.

Competing for Walton’s Norseman Racing Stable, Ancient Spirit is 2-for-2 with her successful opener coming at five furlongs on the inner turf course having been followed by a sharp score in the restricted Victorian Queen at about seven furlongs over the E.P. Taylor surface.

Ancient Spirit will be looking to complete a very interesting triple by opening her career with wins over each of Woodbine’s surfaces.

“I really think she’ll be okay,” said Attard. “She trained very good (on the Tapeta), too. I’d say she trained the same like she trained on the grass.”

Rafael Hernandez, top stakes-winning rider at the meeting with 13 such victories under his belt, retains the mount.

A Touch of Red also is undefeated after tallying by a widening five lengths in a 5 ½-furlong maiden optional claimer on September 10.  The hot apprentice rider Slade Jones, who will be riding without his allowance in this stakes race, retains the mount.

A Touch of Red and jockey Slade Jones winning the 5th race on September 10 2022 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

“I really think she’s a nice filly, too—very nice,” said Attard. “We like her a lot.”

Both Ancient Spirit and A Touch of Red are daughters of Signature Red, a dual stakes winner and winner of some $650,000 for Attard and Walton.

Anam Cara also is a stakes winner with her success coming in the Muskoka, a yearling sales stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs here August 28. Purchased for just $3,000 at the premier local yearling sale, Anam Cara had won her debut at 5 ½ furlongs on the main track before finishing fifth behind Ancient Spirit in the Victorian Queen.

The daughter of Frac Daddy and the Giant’s Causeway mare, Me Love, has gone postward as the favourite under jockey Patrick Husbands in each of her three starts for owner/trainer Sarah Ritchie.

South Ocean Stakes


1—A Touch of Red—Slade Jones—Sid Attard

2—Holiday With Amy—Skye Chernetz—Patrick Dixon

3—Anam Cara—David Moran—Sarah Ritchie

4—Ancient Spirit—Rafael Hernandez—Sid Attard

5—Strike the Pose—Leo Salles—Ravendra Raghunath

6—I’m A Bourbon Girl—Justin Stein—John Staples