Otago mare wins first-up at Alex Park
By Garrick Knight
It was only a few months ago that Ferritts Sister was thought to have a broken leg.
But those fears were long forgotten when the former Central Otago mare scored a tidy win for Nicky Chilcott at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
Despite losing the trail a lap out when the speed went on, driver Dylan Ferguson didn’t panic and urged her to the line for a win her trainer says she will derive massive improvement from.
“She should grow wings from tonight,” said Chilcott.
“She only had the one quiet workout at Pukekohe last week and Luke (Whittaker) looked after her.
“I thought she would go well tonight – she worked on well during the week – but fresh up over 2700 metres is always a tough ask.”
Chilcott was sent the daughter of Bettor’s Delight and stakes-placed mare Touch Of Rose by previous trainers, Geoff and Judy Knight, to fulfill a promise once made to her.
“I was the speaker at a function down there organized by Geoff and at the time he said he would send me a horse one day when he had the right one.
“She arrived a good five months ago now but did come with a few warnings.
“Geoff said she always trained better right-handed and was having a few fetlock issues on her offside.
“I started to work her and she was pretty lame and but I rung Geoff he said she could be a bit scratchy but would warm out of it.
“Well I took her out one day and gave her a good hit out, but when she warmed down, she couldn’t even put her back leg on the ground.
“I thought she’d broken her leg to be honest, but the x-rays were inconclusive.
“The vet said it was probably a hairline fracture and to put her in a box for a month.”
A month later we took it out of the box and a massive stone bruise burst out of her foot, so it seems like that was the problem all along.”
Chilcott was advised to swim her as part of a training regime, but has instead utilized the treadmill instead.
“They told me to swim her but she’s that lazy she nearly sunk so she’s actually been doing a majority of her work on the treadmill.”
Ferguson, who will become a father for the first time with fiancé Jo Stevens next month, had nothing out of the ordinary to say about the win.
“I thought I’d lead and win, but that was only half right.
“She relaxed well and drove nicely; I think they’ll have some fun with her.”
The win was penalty-free and Ferritts Sister remains a rating 50.
Earlier in the night, Tickle Me Pink landed a sustained betting plunge when winning the $22,500 Northern Trotting Guineas for trainer Tony Herlihy and driver, Tony Cameron.
And Herlihy’s brother in law, Barry Purdon, recorded a trio of winners thanks to Ball Of Art, Sole Ambition and Benson Boys.