She is the gift horse that just keeps on giving and on Saturday at Randwick seven-year-old mare Polly Grey recorded her sixth black-type success when a dominant on-pace winner in the Gr.3 JRA Plate (2000m).
The New Zealand-bred daughter of Azamour relishes rain-affected going and doubled her Group Three tally having won the Epona Stakes (1900m) last year.
A surprise leader under an inspired Hugh Bowman ride, the Chris Waller-trained mare always looked to be travelling comfortably and gapped her rivals to win by 5¼ lengths from Numerian with Icebath a further 2¼ lengths away.
“She’s a good tough horse and obviously likes the conditions,” Waller said.
“You don’t see Hugh Bowman in front very often but today you need to be right up there, so Hugh put the kettle on didn’t he?
“She carried weight today and showed a good turn of foot when she needed to.
“I’m not sure what is next and I’ll have a chat with Hugh and see if we can order a few more wet tracks.”
Bowman said he was happy to go to the front on the mare when the speed on-paper didn’t eventuate.
“I was expecting Anthony Cummings’ horse (Cryptogram) to lead but when Robbie (Dolan) didn’t show a great deal of purpose I was more than happy to take it up.
“She was so relaxed in the warm up it just gave me a bit more confidence, if the option to lead was there, to make use of that. It was pretty much parcelled up at that point. She just got into a really smooth rhythm and I was just a passenger really.”
Polly Grey joined Waller after winning six races for Matamata trainer Kylie Fawcett, including the Listed Matamata Cup (1600m).
Fawcett races Polly Grey with her partner Rob Joyce and brother Brook, while she leased a half-share in the mare to Auckland client John Thompson.
Bred by the late Barbara Perry, Polly Grey was bequeathed to Fawcett, who looked after Perry’s small broodmare band and young stock at her Oxford Thoroughbreds, 10 kilometres south of Matamata.
An eleven-time winner from 40 starts, Polly Grey’s earnings are just shy of A$800,000.
Polly Grey is by ill-fated shuttle sire Azamour, who spent just the one season at Brighthill Farm in 2013 before his untimely death at Gilltown Stud in Ireland in 2014.
Polly Grey is the only foal of the four-time winning Zenno Rob Roy mare Allanhah, a half-sister to Gr.1 Easter Handicap (1600m) winner Pasta Post and the Gr.3 Hawke's Bay Gold Cup (2200m) winner Don Domingo. – NZ Racing Desk