Winning Treble - Plum Perfect

Date: 6 Jun 2024

Winning Treble - Plum Perfect

Dual course winner at a similar time last season, Polly Plum (5 m Xtravagant – Herstory, by Commands) won the $17,000 Toby Autridge Memorial Rating 65 1400 metres on 5 June at Matamata.

Polly Plum actually won the corresponding race in 2023, when making it consecutive wins on her home course.

“It was fitting to win the Toby Autridge Memorial again with Polly Plum because we’ve had such a longstanding relationship with the Autridge family,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM. 

“I bought her 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, now won four races, and has an affinity with yielding ground.”

The win was also somewhat of a milestone for premiership leading trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, who recorded their 20th win on the course this season. 

Ridden by stable jockey Opie Bosson ONZM, who won earlier on the programme aboard stable-mates Bella Voce and Akenehi, each by Champion Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill), Polly Plum positioned in midfield, saved ground turning for home, and found plenty when asked for her best inside the final furlong. 

Stable-mate Baronet (Contributer) produced another good performance for third, ridden by stable apprentice Tayla Melvin, who recently won her first race aboard stable-mate Devoted (Contributer) at Pukekohe. 

On footing that remained Heavy8, Polly Plum ran 1400 metres in a respectable 1:27.5, last 600m in 37.9, and drifted in betting to return $8.00 & $2.80 fixed odds with the NZ TAB. 

When Polly Plum won the corresponding race in 2023, she became the 187th win during a record-breaking 203 domestic wins for the stable last season, while notching the 157th this season, coming at an improved strike rate of 5.9. 

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

She is from first crop by Xtravagant (Pentire), whom Ellis purchased as a yearling at Karaka. Xtravagant was a breathtaking 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner, scoring by eight and a half lengths, in staggering race record time of 1:33.59, the last 600m in 33.04, to become the fifth of seven 2000 Guineas winners for Te Akau. He subsequently won the BCD Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m) by the same margin before retiring to stud in Australia where he now stands at Newhaven Park in NSW.

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), is the NZ record-holder of 14 Group One races and was last year inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. 

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 Tamweer Alam. 

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