Pearl Of Alsace (NZ) Scores at New Plymouth

Four-year-old Pencarrow mare Pearl Of Alsace (NZ) (Tavistock) got her career off to a perfect start with a debut victory at New Plymouth on Friday.

The Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray-trained runner had made four appearances at the trials, finishing second in the most recent of them at Waipa on October 11. She was sent out as one of the favourites for Friday’s $14,000 NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m), and she more than lived up to expectations.

Rider Ashvin Goindasamy made use of the handy barrier draw and slid forward in the early stages of the race, taking the lead within the first 100 metres before easing back to settle into third spot.

A gap presented itself outside the leading pair at the top of the straight, and Pearl Of Alsace quickened well to strike the lead inside the final 75 metres. The fast-finishing Maolla Miss (NZ) (Zed) provided a late scare, but Pearl Of Alsace held on to score by a long neck.

Pearl Of Alsace earned $7,840 in prize-money through Friday’s debut victory, along with a $10,000 Pearl Series bonus.

Pearl Of Alsace was bred by Pencarrow and is raced by Sir Peter Vela. She is by outstanding former Cambridge Stud sire Tavistock (NZ), who has been represented by 40 individual stakes winners including Group One stars such as Tarzino (NZ), Tavago (NZ), Entriviere (NZ), Pinarello (NZ), Volkstok’n’barrell (NZ), this year’s New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Asterix (NZ), and Hong Kong superstar Werther (NZ).

The dam of Pearl Of Alsace is Irion (NZ) (Danroad), who won four races and also placed in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m) and Group Three Cuddle Stakes (1600m).

She is a half-sister to the Group One performer Octapussy (Octagonal), dam of Group Two winner Pussy Willow (NZ) (O’Reilly), Group One-placed Pussy O’Reilly (NZ) (O’Reilly) and Listed performers Inside Agent (NZ) (Stravinsky) and Caricature (NZ) (Power).

Another half-sister, Riesling (NZ) (Last Tycoon), is the dam of multiple stakes winner and prolific broodmare Valpolicella (NZ) (Red Ransom), whose progeny include Vavasour (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice), Vilanova (NZ) (Commands), Celebrity Dream (NZ) (Thorn Park) and Rondinella (NZ) (Ocean Park).

Pearl Of Alsace is the second winner from two foals to race out of Irion, who is also the dam of Ipso Facto (NZ) (More Than Ready) – a winner at Cambridge in June of this year.

Irion has subsequently produced filly foals by Zoustar and Super Seth. The Zoustar filly was bought by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis for $475,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2022.