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SALT BAY, APPLES AT AVONDALE

Looking the part in her preliminary, Salt Bay (4 m Redwood – Marsh Harbour, by Volksraad) overcame adversity to win the $10,000 Cato Bolam Rating 65 1200 metres on 22 March at Avondale.

Bringing good form to the race, having finished fourth and third, respectively, in strong Special Conditions fields, after beating a handy field over 1230 metres in January at Rotorua, co-trainer Pam Gerard had Salt Bay in terrific order for the assignment.

“She had done well since her last start and until she really matures seems best fresh and kept to 1200 metres at the moment,” she said.

Owned by Wayne Boyd and Ballymore NZ, Gerard expected Salt Bay to go well, just a notch down from her last two races.

All seemed to go smoothly enough through the run, as Salt Bay began well to secure a trailing position, but rider Jake Bayliss was sweating on a run which finally came inside the 200m and she charged home to win handsomely.

Commentator Bruce Sherwin said: “Was desperate for an out coming around the corner, Salt Bay, took a little while to produce but when it did it really let down nice. An improved mare, she took a little while to break her Maiden but she looks like she’s really going to train on, this mare by Redwood, and broke away for a comfortable win in the finish”.

On footing upgraded to Dead4 after race one, Salt Bay won by one and a quarter lengths, running the 1200 metres in 1:10.3, last 600m in 33.9, and third favourite she paid $4.50 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote, while one lucky punter had $3,800 on at $3.80.

“She’s starting to strengthen up now and developed a sprint,” Gerard said. “We’ll have to see how she pulls up, but she was 15 kilos heavier than her last start and secret could be to keep her fresher and to a shorter trip.

“She went pretty well for fourth to Vigor Winner two starts ago over 1400 metres in a strong field at New Plymouth, so she could also get back to that distance.

“It’s great that she’s won a couple for Wayne (Boyd) because he’s been a patient owner and it looks like she’s going to win more. He a great owner and deserves to have a really good one, so hopefully she continues to improve and he’s come in on some nice young ones this year too.”

A daughter of impressive winning race mare Marsh Harbour (Volksraad), Salt Bay was selected as a yearling by Paul Moroney for $25,000 at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale, from the draft of Westbury Stud, and the pedigree has since received a boost through the deeds of year older sister Swampland (Redwood).

Purchased a year beforehand for $82,500 by Victorian trainer Henry Dwyer, Swampland raced to four wins in short time before finishing second in the Let’s Elope Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) at Flemington, and in doing so gave the family a decent lift.

Mike Moroney said: “I have seen Swampland racing at Flemington and this filly is the spitting image of her. She is the same colour and size to her winning sister, just a real likeness.”

It comes as no real surprise that their dam, Marsh Harbour, has been able to leave athletic progeny with a good turn of foot, as she displayed plenty of talent in winning three of her 10 starts and included a second in the Desert Gold Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m). Marsh Harbour is a three-quarter sister to Ginner Hart (Volksraad), a Group Three winner and Group One placed.

Salt Bay was strapped by Yogesh Rao. 
[22 Mar 19]

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