Plum Ride Gets Polly Home - Season Win 180

Date: 15 May 2023

Plum Ride Gets Polly Home - Season Win 180


Notching the 180th win for trainer Mark Walker this season, Polly Plum (4 m Xtravagant - Herstory, by Commands) carried the Te Akau Racing colours to victory in the $14,000 MBS Advisors Rating 60 1400 metres on 14 May at Matamata.

A day earlier at Rotorua, Walker had wins with Classico (Pierro) in the green Carter Bloodstock colours, and the navy blue and gold of Windsor Park Stud carried by Accidental Tourist (Telperion), while the race beforehand (179th) was won by Francee (Iffraaj) in Haunui Farm's white with red diamond and black sleeves.

Dropping in grade after resuming in the Rating 75 1200 metres on 23 April at Awapuni, Polly Plum was aided by weight relief to carry 54kg and provided Te Akau apprentice Jess Allen (a4) her third victory after scoring on her first day of riding aboard stable-mate Aotea Lad (Savabeel) on 15 April at Te Rapa.

Ridden positively from the outset, Polly Plum was handy but wide near the pace before applying pressure inside the 600m and she sustained a strong gallop on heavy going to win well.

“She travelled pretty keenly for Jess, so she did the right thing in letting her go forward,” Walker said.

“She's been a bit frustrating, but quite a drop in grade today and good to get another win with her. I think she'll take confidence from that, too.”

On Heavy10, Polly Plum ran 1400 metres in 1:29.9, last 600m in 39.9, and $5.50 & $2.00 on the NZ TAB tote.

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, and became the fifth of seven 2000 Guineas' winners for Te Akau. 

Her 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 race and was recently inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. 

“I bought her from Newhaven Park Stud, one of the most dynamic and historic studs in Australasia, where Xtravagant stands, and she's very much in the mould of her sire,” Ellis said.

“She's kept developing into a really nice type of mare, and is still quite lightly raced, and the way she won today suggests there is more ahead of her.

“We thought getting to 160 wins, which we achieved two seasons ago, would be tough, but to now be at 180 with 10 weeks still to go in the season is quite unbelievable and I just never thought it would be possible.

“Mark (Walker) has done an incredible job, with the help of Sam Bergerson (assistant trainer) and Reece Trumper (racing manager), Scotty Lucock, Nicole Shailer and all of our brilliant senior team, very one of them.

“Karyn and I could not be more proud of every single team member who works for Te Akau, both here at the farm and at the stables in Matamata. They are so dedicated and just the most wonderful people.”

Polly Plum was named after 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. 

Polly Plum was strapped by Loka Manu. 


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