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It was only a matter of time, but Flying Sardine’s trainer, Kelvin Tyler, was still relieved when the mare’s maiden win came at Cromwell yesterday.
The phrase "held up" featured in the description of three of Flying Sardine’s seven runs prior to yesterday’s win, but there were no such worries as the daughter of Iffraaj pulled away down the outside of the track to win by 1 lengths.
Tyler had been waiting patiently for the win to come.
"It was always going to happen but today was the day," he said.
Central Districts trainer Kevin Myers had recommended Flying Sardine to Tyler, and sent her down in February.
"He said she’d be a nice horse down here so it’s turned out nice," he said.
Appropriately named due to her lack of size and her sire, Flying Spur, she looks like a mare who will get over considerably more ground than yesterday’s 1400m challenge.
"She handles all going too, actually."
Lizzie Bordon’s jockey, Gosen Jogoo, employed similar tactics to win the 1400m maiden, confirming trainer Sally McKay’s faith in the Iffraaj mare.
"I thought she’d go really big today," McKay said.
"Jo-Ann Gordon had her originally, but she has a problem with travelling on the float — that’s why she gave it to me to train for them."
There is no shortage of quality in the family. Lizzie Bordon’s mother, Abashed, is a full sister to Mahogany, who won eight group 1s in the 1990s and ran second to Octagonal in the 1995 Cox Plate.
McKay described the 5yr-old as "lovely, but she’s got a few quirks" and expected she would thrive over more ground in the future.
"Look at the way she jumped out and goes to sleep. I was pleased with her turn of foot today."
Barclay Creek’s win in the 2030m maiden was an ideal tonic for part-owner Kirsty Rutherford.
The home-bred 4yr-old’s victory came after a tough few weeks for Rutherford, who lives just south of Twizel with Kurow club president Simon Williamson.
Rutherford’s immediate family was badly affected by the Kaikoura earthquakes, as the family farm, Montrose, is near Culverden. Rutherford’s father, Bill, was in the ownership of King Montrose, who broke down in the Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton earlier this month and had to be put down.