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Capping good course form, Salt Bay (5 m Redwood – Marsh Harbour, by Volksraad) had the measure of her rivals, despite jumping in grade, with a clinical victory in the $35,000 Crockford Real Estate Open 1400 metres on 17 January at Tauranga.

A winner virtually to the day last January, on her way to consecutive wins in the autumn, Salt Bay had placed in four of six course attempts and recorded her fourth win for owners Wayne Boyd and Ballymore NZ.

Following a cushy trip on the inner from barrier one, Salt Bay was clear on straightening and quickened appreciably under the urgings of jockey Matt Cameron.

On Dead4 footing, she ran the 1400 metres in 1:23.9, last 600m in 34.7, and her best return was $6.50 & $2.20 on the NZ TAB fixed odds.

“She’s a really game mare but just needs so much luck,” said co-trainer Pam Gerard. “It always helps when you get a good draw. She’s had a few bad draws and can get a bit lost on outside. I’ve always known she’s got a lot of ability and it was a strong ride from Matt (Cameron).

“The times she’d been running home in her last few starts had been quite phenomenal, so she’s as good as any of her opposition but she’s been stuck in Rating 72 grade. It was big jump to open grade, and she’s probably going to get hammered in the weights, but she got the job done.

“We opted to race again at Tauranga, rather than tomorrow at Trentham, as she had been running very well on the course. She’d done everything right since her last start here earlier in January, eaten everything and looks terrific.”

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

Purchased 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.

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 Scott Magee.
[17 Jan 20]


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