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Ballymore Stables put another iron in the fire ahead of rich two-year-old racing when Bocce (2 c Foxwedge – Whiffle, by Red Ransom) delivered in the $22,500 Fasttrack Insurance 2YO 1000 metres on 1 December at Otaki.

Training partners Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard had produced debutante She’s A Thief (Showcasing) to win impressively five days earlier at Te Rapa, and the pair, each eligible for the $1m Karaka Million (Listed, 1200m), look among the top echelon of two-year-olds currently in commission.

Piloted to victory by visiting Victorian jockey Patrick Moloney, on a two day riding stint and covering for suspended countryman Jake Bayliss, Bocce secured the all important inside running soon after the start and held two rivals at bay after travelling pretty well in front.

On Good3 footing, Bocce ran the 1000 metres in 58.4 and returned $3.70 & $1.90 on the NZ TAB tote.

“He was pretty keyed up beforehand and never really concentrated that well in the run, but was back to his normal self when he returned to the birdcage,” Gerard said.

“Patrick (Moloney) said he was quite green, which is surprising because usually he’s a true little professional, but he also said he’s got plenty of gears and hopefully the run now will switch him on a bit more.

“He might need blinkers to keep his mind on the job, but he’s a well balanced colt and the trip away will do him good.”

Prior to debuting for Ballymore Stables (Australia) and Grant Devonport, Bocce led to stylishly win his first trial in October at Waipa, before closing strongly from off the pace for fourth on 9 November at Cambridge.

The name Bocce is an Italian game similar to bowls, but played on a shorter and narrower green.

Selected by Paul Moroney and purchased for $105,000 at the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, from the draft of Blanford Lodge, his dam, Whiffle, won twice in the U.K. Bocce became her four individual winner and he is a half-sister to Hollywood Angel (Dehere) who impressed winning twice to 1600 metres in NZ, and was probably at her best with some cut in the ground.

“Paul and Mike buy fantastic horses, they’ve just got the right eye for it and they bought this colt to make a two-year-old and we’ve got him over the line,” Gerard said.

Bocce was strapped by Scott Magee.

[01 Dec 17]

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