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Despite lusty odds for So Gorgeous (4 m So You Think – Alzira, by Bertolini), she had no trouble winning the $12,000 Topwell Bakery Rating 60 1600 metres on 25 May at Avondale.

Given time (35 days) since getting home okay in the Pearl Series Rating 65 1400 metres on 20 April at Matamata, So Gorgeous had shown ability previously to win and contest two stakes races as a three-year-old. And although void of form on Heavy10 footing, she was considered a decent prospect by co-trainer Pam Gerard.

From barrier 12 in a field of 13, jockey Taiki Yanagida was rearward before finding a nice spot midfield inner at the 1200 metres.

Seemingly content on the footing, So Gorgeous travelled boldly while saving ground near the rail turning for home and after ascending quickly on the leader a furlong out she dashed away to win by five lengths.

Adding merit to the performance, second placed race favourite Mistress Minx (Reliable Man) had herself been an impressive Maiden winner on slow ground.

“She went from racing on a dead track to Heavy10 and I thought she would handle it okay,” Gerard said.

“She’d given us the impression in her work that wet tracks could be her thing and worked up really nicely since racing at Matamata.

“Stepping to a mile after racing at 1400 metres also suited. She looks fantastic, so she ticked a few boxes and I felt if things went to plan from a wide draw that she would be running home well and prove competitive.”

So Gorgeous ran 1600 metres in 1:42.2 and after starting the day at $26.00 & $6.00 fixed odds, she shortened to return $10.20 & $3.60 on the NZ TAB tote.

Gerard was accompanied to the races by family friend and knowledgeable racing man Lynton Brown, who was equally impressed by the performance.

“It was a brilliant win, exceptional, and she had no problem with the going,” he said.

Bred by David Paykel, So Gorgeous is owned by Angela Paykel, Anna Stove, Gwynyth Webb, and Virginia Healy, who were all on course to witness the victory.

“It was great to see all the owners there and nothing better than saddling a winner for them,” Gerard said.

“She can be a bit panicky, but getting better now and I think once over a longer trip and acts more like a staying mare then she should be okay.

“She’s got the ability and we know she can gallop. It would be nice to win another couple with her this season and I think she can continue to improve next year over more ground.

“She’s only four, and a big girl. She had a really good spell, but still up in behind which suggests she’ll continue to even out as she matures.”

Ballymore has a good affinity with the family of So Gorgeous, as Mike Moroney trained grand-dam Alacrity (Grosvenor) for David Paykel, who became Champion 3YO Filly in Australasia, and NZ Filly of the Year, after winning the NZ Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m), Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (Gr. 2, 2000m), and the Royal Stakes (Gr. 3, 2000m).

Alacrity left three winners of 15 races, including Group 1 placed Pendragon (Elnadim) and unraced dam Alzira, who in turn has now left five individual winners of 14 races. It certainly has become a noteworthy family.

So Gorgeous was one of four runners on the card for the Ballymore trainers, and Gerard was also pleased with the fresh-up efforts of the other three.

“Quartz Queen went really well for second, deserves a win, and just found one better on the day,” she said.

“Bubalina went super in the same race. She’d been off for a long time after knee surgery, so she will keep improving.

“And Myrtle Creek just needed the run, after not being able to get a start for quite a long time. She got off balance and lost her way a bit in the straight, but she’ll keep.”

So Gorgeous was strapped by Hari Singh. 
[25 May 22]


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