Promises Quick Back-Up Pays Off

Pencarrow Racing’s Promises (Keeper x Promethean) proved a quick turnaround didn’t trouble her as she triumphed in the $25,000 NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m) at Avondale on Saturday.

Promises winning the NZB Insurance Pearl Series.
Photo courtesy of Trish Dunell.

The four-year-old filly is registered for the Pearl Series and with Saturday’s win has claimed the Pearl Bonus (Level A) of $20,000, in addition to the $15,625 she earned from the stake.

The Shaune Ritchie trained mare now has three wins to her name, and this was her second Pearl Series Bonus win having won a qualifying race earlier this year, straight off the back of breaking her maiden status at Avondale.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve never backed up a horse up so quickly in my entire career,” admitted Ritchie. “I hadn’t actually planned to do it this time but she wolfed down her dinner on Wednesday night after the races and was a box of birds the next day so we took the punt she could cope with it.

“She is a big strong mare and has really matured physically for this campaign although she still has a long way to go with her racing manners.”

Starting from barrier 6, Promises settled at the rear of the field by rider Rogan Norvall. Travelling as the widest horse on the turn for home, Promises made up ground upon straightening, sprinting to hit the lead at the 200 metres.

Flying down the outside, the blue and white stripes passed the front-runners to secure a convincing two-length victory over Ventura (NZ) (Iffraaj) who finished in second place and Rustana (NZ) (Rusty Spur) in third.

“She still has a lot to learn and gets away with a few things at this level that will trip her up later if she keeps it up but you couldn’t help but be impressed with the win.

“She had to be at her very best as she didn’t get many favours during the race. Once he (Norvall) asked her she sprinted very quickly and that turn of foot will be her biggest asset when she gets up to the higher grades,” adds Ritchie.

Owned by Sir Peter Vela who bred the daughter of Keeper with Philip Vela, Promises is out of winning mare Promethean (Grand Lodge), who placed fourth in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic. Granddam Sarwatch (Jetball) was NZB Filly of the Year in 2000, with her wins including the Group 2 Royal Stakes.