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Debutante winner Let’s Say Grace (3 f Charm Spirit – Lady Grace, by Sir Percy) became the second three-year-old filly to win first-up this week for Ballymore Stables, taking out $15,000 Duncan Dental Maiden 3YO 1400 metres on 10 December at Tauranga.

After Myrtle Creek (Ocean Park) obliged two days earlier at Hastings, at just her second start, Let’s Say Grace chimed in, and adding to the mix, yet another three-year-old filly, Alpino (Vanbrugh), ran very well for third when debuting earlier on the programme.

Under the guard, paying $14.60 & $3.30, Let’s Say Grace had trialled twice with solid efforts and touted by co-trainer Pam Gerard to be: “a gorgeous filly with plenty of class, lovely staying type and a big, strong filly”.

Retaining the ride after being aboard most recently when trialling on 4 November at Matamata, in which she quickened when asked to photo-finish for second, Michael McNab allowed Lady Grace to find her feet, settling last on a competitive pace, but across heels to the outside on straightening and charged home to win stylishly.

On Good3 footing, Let’s Say Grace ran 1400 metres in 1:23.8, winning by one and a quarter lengths.

“She showed us ability last time in, before we put her out for a spell,” Gerard said. “She was quite naughty when she came back, but Scotty Magee has ridden her most days, done a fantastic job, and she’s good now.

“She’s always had it there, but just wanted to do a few things wrong when she came back. She’s all class, you can just tell. Even just standing there today, looking out onto the track, she looks good.

“Cameron Lammas rode her in a couple of jump outs and he was taken with her, too.”

Providing Let’s Say Grace comes through the race in good shape, a race like the $120k Eight Carat Classic (Gr. 2, 1600m) could be considered on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.

“I’d quite like to run her in the Eight Carat, but a pretty quick turnaround and she’d need to come through this race the right way,” Gerard said. “I don’t think she’s quite mentally ready to go to Ozzie, maybe better in the autumn.

“I thought she was quite a good chance of winning today, but by the same token, because of the newness, she could get herself beat.

“The horse that ran second today, Pinarello (Tavistock), they like him for the (NZ) Derby and have a high opinion.”

To win on debut over 1400 metres, being out a mare that won over 2200 metres, and from terrific family of Frenetic (Truly Vain), speaks volumes in potential.

Frenetic, impressive winning nine races from 1200m – 2000m, including what is now Rich Hill Mile (Gr. 2, 1600m), Highview Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m), Royal Stakes (Gr. 3, 2000m), and third in Thorndon Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m). She went on to produce seven individual winners of 17 races, winning in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Great Britain.

The family sports even more depth, with Fun on The Run (Racing Is Fun), a half-sister to Frenetic, dam to triple Group 1 winner Tall Poppy (Kaapstad). Both out of Frenichie (Jim French), with Fun on The Run including the Jarden Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) among 18 victories.

Owner/breeder Gordon Cunningham (Curraghmore Stud) also has stable-mate Tevere (Contributer) contesting the $40,000 Rating 74 1200 metres on Saturday at Te Rapa, a course where she boasts two wins and second from four starts. Drawn barrier three, she will be ridden by Michael McNab, who was aboard for both victories.

Let’s Say Grace was strapped by Scott Magee.
[10 Dec 21]


[10 Dec 23] Six runners on Soft7 footing, which may improve further  more...


[10 Dec 23] Doing a fine job, Pericles (3 g Rubick – Empyrean, by O’Reilly) won ...  more...


[09 Dec 23] Three runners, including last start winner Tonia's Dragon (Time Test) contesting the Bonecrusher Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m)  more...
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