Florencenightngale a Shining Light on Debut

Date: 29 Apr 2022

Florencenightngale a Shining Light on Debut


Windsor Park colours were first cab off the rank on Friday at Rotorua, and were carried to victory by debutante Florencenightngale (3 f Rip Van Winkle - Reigning Dynasty, by Mastercraftsman) in the $12,000 Maiden 3YO 1230 metres.


The lead-up trial for second had merit on 22 March at Cambridge (poly-track), where she remained competitive after racing middle of three in front, after displaying good acceleration and stretch to win her previous trial in December at Ellerslie.

From an awkward gate (8), Florencenightngale was able to secure a smooth trip three back on the outer for jockey Craig Grylls, who stoked her up 500m out to challenge rounding the home turn, and come clear inside the final furlong to win easily by two and a half lengths.

“She's from a very good Windsor Park family and although shaping to be better as a four-year-old next season, it was a really promising start to her career,” said trainer Mark Walker.

“It was a thrill to see her win because I trained her grand-dam Polish Princess who was a stakes' winner and Group One placed and went on to become a top broodmare.”

Sponsored by Laser Electrical Rotorua, Florencenightngale clocked 1:14.1 for 1230 metres on Soft5 footing and returned generous odds on the NZ TAB tote: $7.80 & $2.40.

Polish Princess (Polish Precedent) showed plenty of talent winning four times from 1100m - 1400m and finished third in the Champions Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Ellerslie. A mare with plenty of quality, in turn she left five individual winners of 20 races, including multiple Group winners Leebaz (Zabeel) and Zebrowski (Savabeel) and Group winners Polish Knight (Encosta de Lago) and Euro Angel (Rip Van Winkle).

Trained by Mark Walker, Polish Princess created an exemplary race record of four wins from ten starts, while never finishing further back than third was proof of her genuine all-round attributes.

She was purchased as a yearling in the UK by Windsor Park, with the view of becoming a commercial breeding proposition for her owners and certainly was an exciting prospect within their broodmare band.

“She (Florencenightngale) was pretty good alright, and we were very happy with what she showed to win like that on debut,” said Windsor Park Stud Master Rodney Schick.

“Te Akau told us she needed a bit of time, so we gave her that opportunity and Mark (Walker) thought she'd go a pretty good race today.

“He trained the grandmother for me, Polish Princess, and it's been a good family for us. It a nice connection with Mark having trained her. She wasn't the most correct filly and not the easiest to train and Mark did a bloody good job getting out of her what we did on the racetrack.

“We imported her as a yearling from England and she turned out being both a good race mare and broodmare, although she only had a few foals. Unfortunately, we lost her to laminitis so it's pretty pleasing to have a nice filly like this to win on debut like that. I was pretty chuffed actually, and she'll only be stronger next year.

“It's one of the Aga Khan's good families. Polish Princess' sisters and siblings sold for around $800,000 pounds and we only paid $80,000 guineas because she was quite offset. It was just a way of getting into the genetics of the family.”

Florencenightngale was strapped by Murala Mallesh.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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