A wintery Awapuni played host to the Group 3 Merial Ancre Metric Mile on Saturday. A competitive field of 14 went to post for the $70,000 handicap with fillies and mares filling the first five places. Victorious Gypsy Fair (Falkirk (NZ) – Gypsy Moth (NZ)) ran out a neck winner from Platinum Command (Red Giant (USA) - Wednesday Rocks (NZ),) with New York Minute (Ifraaj (GB) – Zenno Queen (NZ)) filling third place. The Allan Sharrock trained mare, who has now won 6 times, was ridden to perfection in testing conditions by southern based jockey Samantha Wynne to gain her maiden black type victory.
The bold ride from Samantha Wynne, who was having her debut ride for the New Plymouth based trainer earned great praise from Sharrock, "What a great ride, I told her to go from the 500 and put them to the sword and try to hold on, and she did it perfectly," Sharrock said.
The taste of success for winning connections was bitter sweet for Sharrock, who has a share in the tough and consistent mare; also co bred her in partnership under the Clifton Bloodstock Ltd banner with business partner Paul Foreman. Her dam Gypsy Moth (Zabeel (NZ) - Round The World (NZ)), is a stakes placed daughter of Group1 Queensland Oaks winner Round The World(NZ) ( Sea Anchor(IRE) - La Mascarade (NZ)). She was a $4,000 Karaka purchase by Sharrock in foal to Keeper (Aus) (Danehill (AUS) - Nuwirah (AUS)), and the journey has been short and fraught.
The loss of her filly foal was a hard pill to swallow for the partnership, but thankfully the following mating to Falkirk (NZ) (Tale Of The Cat (USA) - Madam Valeta (NZ)) proved fruitful, resulting in Gypsy Fair. Falkirk (NZ) was seen as an excellent cross, a natural source of speed from a horse that competed at the highest level both domestically and worldwide. Gypsy Moth is described by Sharrock as a "common looking mare, bought more on page than looks". Disaster struck again two years later with the loss of her Tavistock (NZ) (Montjeu (IRE) - Upstage (GB)) colt. Unfortunatly the perils of advancing years has claimed the life of Gypsy Moth.
As Gypsy Fair was a December foal, she was given time to mature under the guidance of Sharrock, running with great consistency after making her debut in June 2014 having finished unplaced only twice in her 19 starts.
As she appreciated the soft going, the changeable spring weather may dictate a possible quick return to the track for Gypsy Fair before a well earned summer break .Gypsy Fair will be retained by Clifton Bloodstock to join their select broodmare band after attempting to add to her record in autumn weight-for-age races.
The partnership is looking forward to breeding with Gypsy Fair in the future, as her family includes recently retired Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes winner Valley Girl (Mastercratsman (IRE) – Leigh Valley (NZ)).
The fine start to the new season enjoyed by Falkirk (NZ), who stands at Windsor Park Stud for $4,000+ G ST, continues on from the international success he enjoyed earlier this year with SNG Group 1 Singapore Derby winner Well Done (NZ) (Falkirk (NZ) - Gold Cloud (NZ)).