Good Golly Miss Polly

Date: 8 Jun 2023

Good Golly Miss Polly


Making it consecutive wins on the home course at Matamata, Polly Plum (4 m Xtravagant - Herstory, by Commands) won the $14,000 Toby Autridge Memorial Rating 65 1400 metres on 7 June.


Having notched the 180th win this season for trainer Mark Walker when winning the Rating 60 1400 metres on 14 May at Matamata, Polly Plum recorded the 187th while also providing Te Akau apprentice Niranjan Parmar (a2) another victory for the stable after scoring aboard Freeze Frame (Vadamos) on Saturday at Avondale.

Tracking a similar path to her previous win, handily placed near the pace, Polly Plum levelled with the two leaders at the 600m, claimed a slight advantage on straightening for the run home, and held defiantly in a five-way finish.

Scoring by a nose, with a head to third, and nose to fourth, Polly Plum prevailed to pay $4.30 & $1.60 on the NZ TAB tote and ran 1400 metres in 1:30.1 on Heavy10 footing.

“Polly Plum, it was really good to win the race in honour and memory of Toby Autridge,” Walker said.

“Te Akau and the Autridge family have such a long and successful association, so it was really satisfying to win the race in honour of Toby.

“She has put two good wins together, it was a lovely ride by Parmar, and it's satisfying to see a very nice mare in good form.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the 2020 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, from the draft of Newhaven Park, Polly Plum is owned by Te Akau Enfranchise Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM). 

A filly from first crop by Xtravagant (Pentire), also purchased by Ellis to win the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) in breathtaking fashion by eight and a half lengths, in staggering 1:33.59, last 600m in 33.04, establishing a new race record, to become the fifth of seven 2000 Guineas winners for Te Akau. 

Dam Herstory won three races to 1400 metres in Australia, including a debut victory over 1200 metres as a two-year-old. Her sire, Commands (Danehill), is also the sire of dual Horse of the Year and Te Akau star mare Melody Belle (ex. Meleka Belle, by Iffraaj), NZ record-holder of 14 Group One races and recently inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. 

“It was fitting to win the Toby Autridge Memorial because we've had such a longstanding and strong relationship with the Autridge family,” Ellis said.

“We, along with everyone in racing, felt Toby's loss very keenly.  He was one of the finest horsemen, and humans, you would meet.  Hard working, genuine, just a great all round guy. Toby rode winners for us in New Zealand and Australia including Te Akau Lad, who won the last every jumping race in Sydney - an absolutely champion bloke.

"I bought this mare off Newhaven Park Stud, where Xtravagant stands, and she's very much in the mould of her sire.  She's kept developing into a really nice type of mare, still quite lightly raced with three wins from 14 starts, and she's displaying some real grit in handling these testing tracks.

“Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson), along with our whole team deserve immeasurable thanks for their hard work and are also to be congratulated for another record-breaking season.”

Polly Plum's name reflects her dam Herstory - she was named after almost forgotten Mary Ann Colclough, a New Zealand feminist and social reformer. Born in London (1836), she contributed to various colonial newspapers under the pseudonym Polly Plum and made quite an impact in her generation.

Polly Plum was strapped by Murala Mallesh. 



Photo credit -


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