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GOLDEN MOMENT FOR LILY D'OR

A four-length debut winner on the course in July, Lily d’Or (4 m Cape Blanco – Zarvana, by Zabeel) scored another easy victory in the $30,000 Te Awa Winery Restaurant Rating 65 1400 metres on Saturday at Hastings.

In the interim, the big bay mare, owned by Carol Marshall and Bob Morris, had finished a close fifth in the Special Conditions 1200 metres on the first day (Aug. 31) of the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival.

Out well to lead before handing up and sitting second outer, Lily d’Or travelled sweetly under Donavan Mansour and put the slipper in when asked to extend at the 150m. Winning by two and a quarter lengths, in 1:23.1 for 1400 metres on Good3 footing, her best return was $5.00 & $2.00 on the NZ TAB.

“We were a bit more positive,” said co-trainer Pam Gerard. “We’d been to the trials, led and won, and led when she won here, so we thought we’d do the right thing and ride her like the best horse in the race.

“It was probably my fault last time, trying to be a bit clever and it backfired, but fantastic today. It’s fantastic, too, for Bob (Morris). When you’ve got your owner that’s 92 and stable-hand (Denny Moroney) that’s 91 it’s just so exciting. These are the moments you live for and it’s special.”

Having unveiled a live 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) chance when Harlech (Darci Brahma) won on Wednesday at Matamata, Gerard also has high hopes for Lily d’Or who has now won two of her three starts.

“I think she’ll go right to the top,” she said. “She’s still probably learning, but Donavan loves her to bits and thinks she pretty special. When she gets up over 2000 metres, I think it’s going to be great.”

Boasting royal bloodlines, out of a mare that resulted from the mating of Champion stallion Zabeel (Sir Tristram) and million-dollar earner Giovana (Blues Traveller), Lily d’Or is the girl of the moment in the eyes of Morris.

“We’ve been very lucky, but there’s nothing like something current,” he said. “Sequita and Giovana have always been our favourites, but we’ve been lucky and Carol and Pam have done such an incredible job with this mare.”

A beautiful mare, Giovana won four Group Ones, including the Queensland Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m), Thorndon Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) and two weight-for-age races over 2000 metres, before leaving some highly sought after progeny. Her first foal, Chivana (Fusaichi Pegasus), made $350,000 in 2005 at Karaka, and four years later came sale topper Medici (Encosta De Lago) for $800,000. She has since had progeny sell for $200,000 and $310,000 respectively.

Giovana was owned and trained by Carol Marshall, and in association with Bob Morris she has bred from and offered her progeny for sale, while the pair shares in the ownership of Lily d’Or.

“We’d like to thank Pam and all her staff for looking after Lily d’Or,” Marshall said. “She’s special to me because I raced her grand-dam, Giovana, and winning a premier race today is special.”

Kudos also went to both runners on the programme for the Moroney/Gerard training partnership, with both Petrachor (Redwood) and Lily d’Or winning best presented.

Lily d’Or was a strapped by Richie Fallon. 
[21 Sep 19]

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