Santangelo First for Walker

The PGG Wrightson 1200 at Matamata Racecourse today was full of firsts for Pencarrow Stud and connections.

Three-year-old filly Santangelo was quick to break her maiden status at her first attempt in the hands of Michael Walker who rode his first winner back after being off since his devastating pig hunting accident in May.

After running in four barrier trials and never placing worse than third, Santangelo came out on top in her final piece of education on the 27th November with Michael Walker aboard. The form of that fifth trial proved genuine today when she jumped out of her wide barrier on top, worked early to the lead, and stayed in front the entire way, defeating Absinthe (Golan) by a long neck.
Santangelo is by Lonhro out of the brilliantly bred Storm Cat mare, Lucky Be Lucky who also has a 2yo colt by Zabeel, and foaled a bay filly by Champion racehorse Darci Brahma on 11 August. Lucky Be Lucky visits top sire Pentire this season.

Prior to his accident, Michael Walker rode first-call for the Vela family’s Pencarrow Stud and maintained their support throughout his recovery. Now Michael is back in the saddle, and “feeling better than ever”, winning his first race back in the Pencarrow colours.

The results kept coming throughout the day with some Pencarrow Stud place-getters showing promise for future outings.

It was back into the Pencarrow colours again for Walker who climbed aboard Star Charm in the fourth race, the Oxford Thoroughbreds 1400. The four-year-old Cape Cross mare out of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year, Sarwatch (Jetball), settled towards the back of the field from her horror 18 barrier before encountering traffic problems in the home straight. Her persistence in the soft hands of Walker however saw her storm home late to grab an unlucky second, just half a length from winner Santaurian (San Luis).
Today’s run by Star Charm showed some of her dam’s fantastic racing qualities, indicating more to come in future. Sarwatch foaled a Redoute’s Choice colt this year and has gone back in foal to O’Reilly.

Michael Walker’s final Vela mount came aboard the four-year-old Van Nistelrooy gelding Stalking in the Sincerity Drycleaners 2000. Making the running for most of the trip, he fought doggedly today to finish in third place, while confirming the step up to 2000m was ideal for his grinding running style.

Stalking’s dam, Dance My Dance (Sadler's Wells), has a Stravinsky yearling that will be retained to race by Pencarrow Stud, and is in foal to Holy Roman Emperor.