Robbie Patterson is keen on a return trip to Australia for his highly regarded Westbury Stud graduate Nom de Plume.
The New Plymouth trainer produced the Gerry Harvey-bred mare for her third career victory when the daughter of El Roca was successful over a middle distance at Otaki off the back of a pair of lead-up sprint outings.
“It’s a long way from 1400 to 2100 metres, but she showed her class,” Patterson said.
“She’ll come on big time with that run and we’ve got some big targets for her.”
Nom De Plume was a winner over ground at the Sunshine Coast last season when campaigned in Queensland and Patterson is eager to go back again with the four-year-old.
“She’s a natural staying mare and I want to get her back over there and races like the G3 Lord Mayor’s Cup and the G3 Premier’s Cup are nice options for her,” Patterson said.
Nom De Plume settled at the tail end of the field at Otaki before rider Craig Grylls urged her forward 600 metres from home and held a sustained gallop to overpower her rivals.
“They went a pretty good gallop and that suited her, she switched off,” Grylls said.
“She got a bit tired late, but there is a stack of improvement to come. She’s a very handy mare who has got a good race in her.”
A $20,000 NZ Bloodstock New Zealand Ready to Run Sale purchase, Nom De Plume is a daughter of the unraced Encosta De Lago mare Lago De Plume, who has a yearling filly by Redwood.
She boasts a rich international pedigree that features the Champion European Stayer and multiple Group 1 winner Stradivarius, the G1 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist and the three-time elite level winner and sire Peintre Celebre.
Ace on a roll
El Roca’s associate sire Swiss Ace was also on the scoreboard in Singapore and in Australia with a pair of newcomers making a winning impact.
Westbury homebred Suisse Scandal was successful at the first time of asking with a runaway debut victory over 1200 metres on his home track at Toowoomba while April struck at his second appearance at Kranji.
Off the back of two winning trials, the Mark Currie-trained Suisse Scandal made all the running and sauntered clear to score by 5l.
He was a $20,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale purchase and is out of the Redwood mare Privacy and bred on the identical cross to the exciting Master Brutus, who has a win and four placings, including a runner-up finish in the G3 Almanzor Trophy, from five starts.
From the family of Group 1 winners Aristia and Royal Purler, Privacy has subsequently produced a pair of sisters to Suisse Scandal.
The Stephen Gray prepared April followed up an encouraging fifth on debut last month to break his maiden.
April was bred by Gray and wife Bridget and is a son of the late Al Samer mare She’s Samashing, who was successful on three occasions.
She was out of a half-sister to the three-time Group 1 winner County Tyrone and to the dam of the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Samaready and the G2 Karrrakatta Plate winner Night War.
Spirited winning debut
Two-year-old Shot Of Whiskey made the perfect start to his career with a smart debut victory at the Sunshine Coast.
The Harvey-bred youngster was sent out a commanding favourite off the back of a trial win and he didn’t disappoint his army of supporters, romping home by 3.3l.
He is trained by Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted and is a son of Spirit Of Boom and was bought out of Westbury’s draft at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for A$150,000 by his trainers and Proven Thoroughbreds.
Shot Of Whiskey is the first foal of the Redoute’s Choice mare Flower of Love, whose family includes stakes winner and G1 Golden Slipper Stakes runner-up Shovhog.
Flower Of Love’s Reliable Man filly sold to Pearce Racing, of Western Australia, at Karaka this year for $75,000 and the mare is in foal to Redwood.
Essonne adds to smart record
Progressive Reliable Man mare Essonne has a major pot of Sydney gold in her sights.
The four-year-old produced a gallant last-start performance at Kembla Grange to continue her excellent winning strike and book her place in the A$500,000 Polytrack Provincial Midway Championship Final at Randwick on April 8.
Essonne was forced to race deep on the track without cover, but answered every call of rider Chad Schofield in the run home to add to her record.
“That was an excellent run and she relished the 1400 metres, she’s a really nice mare,” Litt said.
“She acquitted herself very well after sitting three wide and put them away.
“She’s absolutely tough as tea and I just wish all my horses had her heart.”
Bred and raced by Harvey and the winner of five of her nine starts, Essonne is a daughter of the Redoute’s Choice mare Riviere who was successful on three occasions.
She is a half-sister to the Group 2 winners First Command and One World and has an unraced juvenile Swiss Ace colt and is currently in foal to Telperion.