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Continuing her love affair with Ellerslie, Pinmedown (3 f Pins – Alleyway, by Oregon) scored a brilliant win in the $70,000 McKee Family Sunline Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m) on Derby Day.

On Boxing Day at Ellerslie, she came from last to win the Eight Carat Classic (Gr. 2, 1600m) and most recently on the course, Karaka Million night (26 Jan.), ran a faster last 600m (34.2) than the winner when making ground in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m).

The win continued the recent stakes successes for Ballymore Stables after On The Rocks (Alamosa) landed the 50th Group One win for Mike Moroney and first for training partner Pam Gerard on 9 February in the $400,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m).

Given a peach of a ride by stable jockey Jake Bayliss, Pinmedown worked across from a wide draw (12) to settle four back on the inner; eighth and scrapping paint in midfield at the 1200m. Appearing to travel sweetly when six lengths from the leader at the 600m, she was aided by a majority of the runners fanning wide into the straight, taking advantage of an inside passage to burst through at the 200m and let down with an impressive sprint to the line.

On Good3 footing, Pinmedown ran the 2100 metres in 2:12.1, returning $5.50 & $2.30 as a loose favourite, and in turn shortened from $18.00 to $6.00 third favourite for the $400,000 New Zealand Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) on 16 March at Trentham.

“I think she’s just a very, very good horse. I’ve thought that all along,” Gerard said. “She’s a little bit accident prone, doesn’t help herself and gets wound up on race day. You look at her in the birdcage and she’s sweating up, you wouldn’t have a bar of her, but she’d be one of the toughest horses I’ve ever come across.

“She’s more than capable of backing up. She’d run every day. She’s that sort of filly; she’s tough and gives her all every time. She knows how to be a racehorse, but a work in progress the whole way through and it’s been a fantastic job by the staff.

Asked about stepping up to a mile and half (2400m) for the Oaks, Gerard said: “On her breeding, I don’t think that’s a problem, that’s why Mike and Paul (Moroney) bought her and it’s the race she’s been aimed at all along. So, to get two (stakes) wins along the way has been a big bonus for the owners.

“She turning out to be a really good filly and you certainly can’t doubt the judgement when it comes to the horses that Mike and Paul buy at the yearling sales.”

Selected by Paul Moroney and purchased for $28,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, from the draft of Ardsley Stud, Pinmedown is owned by Savvy Racing Blues Syndicate (Mgr: Keith McDonald), Lois & Mike Wilson, Noel Gurney, Richard Sims, Adrian Mathieson, Rob Alderson, Ken & Bev Cherry, and Ballymore New Zealand.

Representing the McKee family, Stephen McKee was joined on the victory dais by Greg Childs, the regular pilot of Champion mare Sunline (Desert Sun).

“It was a great win by the filly and congratulations to Mike Moroney, Pam Gerard, also Denny Moroney, Scotty Magee, and those that run the Ballymore operation,” McKee said.

Replying on behalf of the owners, Keith McDonald said: “Thank you to Mike and Pam, and her two children (Meg & Archie) who help with the horses, and thanks very much to Jake Bayliss. It’s a huge privilege to have her name on the Sunline Trophy”.

A filly with ever increasing value, Pinmedown is a three-quarter sister to Hong Kong Horse of the Year (twice) Ambitious Dragon (Pins), who won 13 races, including six Group One, and the equivalent of NZ$10.9 million in prize money. While their sire, Pins (Snippets), was twice crowned Champion Sire in Hong Kong, largely due to the feats of Ambitious Dragon.

The dam side of the family has left some very talented and classy performers. Obviously Ambitious Dragon, but also stakes winning mares Roxon (Postponed), Delightful (Omnicorp), and the very good producer Sky Mist (Sky Chase).

Pinmedown was strapped by Scott Magee.

[02 Mar 19]


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