THE Rod Symons-trained Kaniva has emulated the deeds of plenty of his family with a win on debut at Kyneton on Tuesday.
Kaniva - a three-year-old filly who was bred by Symonds - joined his mother Lascelles, father Kuroshio, great-grandmother Greet Our Guest and sister Kiata as horses to have saluted at their first start.
She was able to do it in style, with Patrick Moloney taking the filly straight to the front before kicking clear at the top of the straight and having plenty in the tank to hold off a fast-finishing Sunshines from the Nick Ryan stable, much to the delight of a 30-strong group of owners - many of them first-timers - and friends at the track.
Symons was delighted to see Kaniva continue the long line of family success.
"It gives you a real satisfaction when you breed them as well and they come through the system and get things done," he said.
"Her great-grandmother (Greet Our Guest) won her first start with John Keating on-board at Kilmore. Her first daughter didn't race, but her next daughter Lascelles won at Bendigo (in 2011).
"Then (Kaniva's) sister (Kiata) won at Pakenham in her first race.
"Dad, my brother and I raced Greet Our Guest together and he was the foundation broodmare for that line."
Kaniva's sire Kuroshio, who was a more than handy juvenile for Peter Snowden, won a Listed race on debut at Flemington in 2012, before going on to win the Group 2 McEwen Stakes at Mooneee Valley as a three-year-old in 2013.
The win delivered Symons his fifth win of the 2020-21 season, with all but one of them achieved by his latest crop of three-year-olds, including Silversmith. Wit, Luna Chara and now Kaniva.
"I think Kaniva's race might turn out to be a pretty good race - it was worth $35,000, so you would think there would be some quality horses in it," he said.
"There were a few horses that had placed in their last few.
"But we're no longer a maiden, we need to step up now and have a crack. We're looking at races at Moonee Valley now.
"There's not much around the country tracks, and there's not much in the way of (benchmark) 64s for three-year-olds, so there's a race coming up for her at The Valley on a Friday night in a couple of weeks."
Symons indicated Kiata would likely have her next start at Bendigo on Tuesday, February 23.
The four-year-old mare is coming off a midweek city placing at Sandown in a benchmark 70 event, which followed her second career win at Wangaratta in mid-January.
"It's 1100m, so we'll let her take on the boys in a (benchmark) 64 race and depending on how she goes, we might go back to town," he said.
Symons said a popular question had become which of the sisters - Kiata or Kaniva - did he believe had the edge in ability.
"It's a good question. They asked Patrick Moloney, who's ridden both, and he wouldn't be drawn on it," he said.
"The younger sister has shown every bit of potential as the older sister.
"Kiata's had six starts, so the younger one needs to step up now, but she was quite exciting the way she did it (on Tuesday)."
Returning to scale to plenty of cheers and applause, Moloney sung the praises of Kaniva.
"It's great to have the owners back on track and interacting with us a bit more closely," he told broadcaster Racing.com.
"It's good to see Rod had a good band of owners behind this horse, I ride the older sister and she goes okay - she only just got beaten at Sandown the other day.
"This one (Kaniva) is a very promising horse. She was pretty professional early in the race, but still a bit green and wayward in the second half, but there's a lot of upside to her.
Asked whether Kaniva had the potential to be better than Kiata, Moloney said: "You'd like to think so, they've both come out and won their first start.
"Today's maiden was quite strong, so it's good signs for Rod's sake and his group of owners.
"I hope she can measure up. I definitely think (Kiata) is city class, so if she (Kaniva) can measure up to that level she'll be pretty nice."
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