Munro records first training win with giveaway horse

by Frank Marrion

Bronson Munro’s first training win with Sherry Baby at Motukarara last Monday came with a mare who was given away for free. Munro races the four-year-old by Live Or Die with his partner, Sally Spicer, a daughter of breeders Ken and Anne-Marie Spicer.

They raced her 15 times for a few placings, initially with Nigel McGrath and then with Geoff and Jude Knight in Roxburgh before pulling the pin.

“They’d pretty much given up on her and she was off to a trekking place in Central Otago when I asked if I could give her a go,” said Munro.

“I’m not sure what had been going on with her, but she came to me with a dicky tendon and I managed to get some of Derek Jones’ old linament.

“So she’s been getting that every day and she’s been quite sound since I got her.

“She hasn’t gone a bad race for me (in five starts) outside of the one at Forbury Park, where she led from gate eight but got on a knee and galloped heading into the first bend.
“She’s been checked and galloped down there before and I think she has nightmares about the place.

“She’s a funny mare in that she’ll ‘free-leg’ in work at the beach and is pretty good gaited, but she still prefers the big grass tracks and doesn’t like the tight, turning tracks.”

After a stint with the Robert and John Dunn following a knee injury which ended a promising rugby career, Munro has been working for David Butt since the middle of January and he took on Sherry Baby shortly after that.

She is the last foal and eighth winner from Time Again Franco (3 NZ wins), a sister to This Time Franco, There’s A Franco and Franco Thunder (US1.51.4, $200,000).

Time Again Franco was probably a bit disappointing as a broodmare considering her family, but she did produce WA Derby winner Three Blind Mice (16 Aus wins, $300,000) and the unsound Tom And Jerry, a Nelson Cup winner who raced just the 15 times for his six wins.

So Munro is quite keen to breed from her next season.

“I’m thinking she’ll need a good size stallion and I like Downbytheseaside as he was a big, powerful bugger.”

In the meantime, Munro is eyeing a ‘boys’ race at Invercargill on Saturday week which is for one-win horses only.

“Often in those races you get 4-5 win horses dropping down the ratings, but hopefully we can find an easier race and pick up another one before she’s done.

“She’s pretty handy getting away from the stands and that can make a bit of a difference.”

That was certainly the case at Motukarara after Sherry Baby had begun from the second line but soon lobbed into the one-one.

Nobody improved during the run but Sherry Baby had to make her challenge a lot sooner than desired when the horse in the open, Tiz A Sweetheart, gave ground quickly well before the home turn.

Munro won 10 races last season upon his return to the game, but Sherry Baby was just his second driving win this season following on from Linton Shard at Reefton last month for trainer Matt Anderson.

“Matt and myself have been good mates since going to high school together at St Thomas’s in Sockburn.

“He’d left the coast after the first day and it was great to win a Cup race (Grey Valley) for him.”

While Sherry Baby is his only race horse in work, Munro is handling a yearling filly for the Spicers and has her stabled with Anderson at Woodend Beach.

Plat It Now is by Rock N Roll Heaven from Cracklin Rose, a one-win Art Major daughter of Time Again Franco, whose first foal is the promising Duke.

Munro is also looking forward to picking up a maiden trotter next week in Sunny Valley, a mare by Skyvalley he has leased from Don Ross.

“I’m still playing a bit of social rugby for the University club and I’ve got some of my teammates involved in her, so that should be a bit of fun.”

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