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Aurora Dolce (4 m Super Easy – Luna Dolce, by Keeper) wrapped up a good long-weekend for Ballymore Stables when winning the $30,000 Banquo @ Waikato Stud Rating 65 1600 metres on Monday at Te Rapa.

A winner in September over 1200 metres at Matamata, Aurora Dolce had never produced a poor effort, although sometimes void of luck and it was consistency rewarded.

After getting home with telling strides for fourth in Rating 65 1400 metres on 9 October at Matamata, she appeared suited stepping up in distance and barrier six was an ideal gate.

Ridden by Michael McNab, who joined Lisa Allpress and Danielle Johnson atop the premiership with 26 wins this season, Aurora Dolce was given a smooth passage beyond midfield before quickening into a gap and she sustained a strong finish to win well.

On footing that remained Dead5, despite showers, Aurora Dolce ran 1600 metres in 1:38.0 and drifted in betting to pay $14.10 & $4.10 on NZ TAB.

“She’s gaining confidence, a lot more settled and she was good today,” Gerard said. “She jumps out and does what she has to do now, and had been unlucky in her last two starts. On her last run to be paying $14.00 was ludicrous, but good for those that backed her.

“Michael (McNab) said she was happy to drop the bit and travel in amongst them, but once he got out she was pretty quick when she sprinted and just wanted to gawk around after hitting the front.
“Showers throughout the day probably helped her. Just that little bit of cut in the track was probably ideal, but probably the main thing was stepping up to a mile.

“It was a step up to Saturday grade and I thought it was a good effort. Given that she’s relaxing, I think she can get over 2000 metres in time.”

Aurora Dolce is the first foal from Luna Dolce (Keeper), a big mare, 16.2hh, that showed ability but went in the wind after winning and was retired.

Syndicate manager Brian de Lore bought Luna Dolce as a yearling at Karaka, Select Sale, off Sir Patrick Hogan. The grand-dam is by Zabeel (Sir Tristram) and third dam Best Image (Try My Best) left Brisbane Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m) winner Dupain (Sir Tristram).

He had always liked the family and Luna Dolce was a nice type, and de Lore chose the mating with Super Easy (Darci Brahma) because he was ‘not too big and had a nice turn-of-foot’.

“There are 20 of us that own this mare and I’ve had some of them crying on the phone as they’ve just got so much out of her winning today,” de Lore said.

“I’d contacted them all and, basically, said she could win today. Don’t worry about the odds, she can win because she stepped up to 1600 metres and had the longer straight at Te Rapa, as opposed to Matamata.

“She did the job nicely and Mike Moroney gave me a call from Melbourne, and Pam (Gerard) rang to congratulate us, so we’re all thrilled. She looks beautiful in the winning photo, which is really smart.

“She’s got quite a lot of ability and I phoned Michael McNab and he was very complimentary of her effort. He has got to know her and I think he rides her well.

“I think Michael’s riding in career best form, including three winners there today at Te Rapa, and proved in the last six months that he’s as good as any rider in the country. He’s grown up and we appreciate the way he’s ridden Aurora Dolce for us.”

Aurora Dolce joined Sassy Merlot (Burgundy) as winners for the stable over the weekend, while Gerard was also pleased with the runs by Halston (Reliable Man) finishing second and last start winner Ceasar (Proisir) stepping up with a good effort in the Sarten Memorial (Gr. 2, 1400m).

Aurora Dolce was strapped by Harri Singh.
[25 Oct 21]


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