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A DAY FOR THE IRISH AS CORK WINS BY NINE

Carrying the Fletcher tartan, Cork (3 f Complacent – Little Bit Irish, by O’Reilly) second-rated her rivals in the $10,000 Don Griffiths Maiden 1600 metres on 14 May at Matamata.

After finding the line for sixth in each of two starts, both over 1400 metres on the home at Matamata, Cork made Heavy10 footing look easy as she careered away for victory under jockey Sam Weatherley.

Beginning well and pushed along sixth inner on a solid pace, Cork was quickly on the leader turning for home and extended a four-length buffer at the 200m to bolt in by nine lengths.

She displayed a good action on going that others struggled to handle, running the 1600 metres in 1:40.3 and shortened in betting to return $17.90 & $4.50 on the NZ TAB tote.

Selected by Paul Moroney and Ballymore Stables NZ at the Karaka 2019 Book 2 Sale, a $30,000 buy from the Blandford Lodge draft of breeders Graham & Helen-Gaye Bax, Cork is owned by Dame Sian Elias, Natalie Walker, Ned Fletcher & Hugh Fletcher, whose colours were recently donned by Sarten Memorial (Gr. 2, 1400m) winner and dual Group One placed stable-mate Harlech (Darci Brahma), now plying his trade with Mike Moroney in the Ballymore Stable at Flemington.

“To be honest, I didn’t see it coming,” said co-trainer Pam Gerard.

“Her two starts had been really good, but nearly scratched her this morning because we thought she may not be strong enough to cope with the footing.

“She hadn’t been great in the feed bin and getting a bit woolly in the coat. Her work had been okay without being super and the two-year-old (Quartz Queen) worked better last Saturday.

“On the plus side, we thought she might have the right action to handle conditions and she’s shown to be coming along as a racehorse.

“It was the first time she’d drawn a good gate (3), so we took the chance again on the home track and Sam (Weatherley) rode her very well.

“He said she was never on the bridle, but the kindest horse to ride. He felt he was going okay on the corner (for home), but once in the open she took off.”

Gerard said that providing Cork did well following the win then she could be seen in the Rating 65 1600 metres on Wednesday 9 June at Matamata.

From the first crop of Spring Champion Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m) winner Complacent (Authorized), bred on the same Sadler’s Wells/Quest for Fame cross as proven sire Tavistock (Montjeu), and standing at Mapperley Stud. Cork is a half-sister to talented dual winner Carlingford Bay (Atlante), from a family well known to the Moroney brothers through the deeds of Group One winner Mission Critical (Fantastic Light) and Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) placed Bocce (Foxwedge).

“The Fletcher family are very good supporters of Ballymore,” Gerard said. “Harlech has been a recent flag bearer. It’s good for this filly to win for them and they’ve got a lovely two-year-old Vadamos colt, Chancellor, and a Time Test colt from the Karaka sales this year.”

Cork was strapped by Samur Singh.

[14 May 21]

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