Growing up in the shadow of an “out and out” superstar can be a daunting prospected for any horse, considering how many fail to live up to their family successes.

But on Saturday saw the rising Bunbury trained 5yo mare Peggie’s Dream ($4.80) climb further toward emulating its predecessors, comfortably accounting for the Auto Classic Handicap over 1000m.

By the Royal Academy sire Ihtiram (Ireland), Peggie’s Dream is the fifth winner from five foals to race from dam Peggie’s Bid, and is a full sister to five time Group 1 winner, and former Australian Horse of the Year – the great Miss Andretti. To raise the bar a little higher still, Peggie’s Bid also foaled stakes winner Danny Beau, and stakes placed Charlie Beau.

Plagued with its fair share of issues, it has taken a while for trainers Bruce Watkins and Gary Hitchcock to get Peggie’s Dream to the track – consistently. The mare won its maiden in Bunbury back in March by a nail biting nose as red hot favourite. She pulled up sore following her debut and was spelled for five months before resuming to win a mid-week in town two weeks ago.

Coming into Saturday’s race, Peggie’s Dream was specked early in the market, before drifting in the minutes leading up to the race. Starting well from barrier four, Peggie’s Dream was allowed to sit just off the leader by jockey William Pike, with Flying Affair ($5.50) taking up the early running from barrier nine. Race favourite Geiger Rio ($3.80) was also in the front pack, and entering the straight looked like it was doing the better. But Peggie’s Dream stuck on gamely, and motored away from the favourite inside the final furlong to salute by a length. The ever consistent Thunderluv’n ($6.00) rattled home a further 1 ½ lengths away for third.

Peggie’s Dream has a long way to go to reach her sister’s heights, but with three wins from three outings, one could not ask for a better career start.

Chris Blackwell