Fairytale finish in Narooma Cup

Fair Nation continued his rags-to-riches career with a flying finish in the Narooma Cup (1650m) on Monday.

The Paul Murray trained gelding nailed 2012 Narooma Cup winner Quichang in the final few strides to complete a hat-trick following wins at Wagga and Kembla Grange last month.

Fair Nation (4g Dubai Destination – It’s Not Fair by Danzero) has started favourite in all three victories under Jeff Penza.  Connections are hoping the fairytale will continue in the Moruya Cup on January 21.

Murray and his partner Michelle Ritchie bought him for a mere $1,500 at the 2010 Magic Millions National yearling sale.  “He was among the supplementary lots and was the last horse in the ring,” Murray told SMH reporter Tony White.  “He had dirt all over him and Michelle said we had to give the poor thing a home.  I put in one bid and he was ours.”

Darley shuttled his sire Dubai Destination to Australia for five years until 2008.  He was a G1 winner of the 2003 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot but didn’t do nearly as well at stud in either hemisphere.

A son of Kingmambo, he served 600 mares in the southern hemisphere and, to date, there have been 153 winners at a 61% strike-rate in Australia-NZ.  Significantly, only three of them have won black-type races and that sub-par statistic ensured he was soon surplus to requirements down here.

The following year, Sheikh Mohammed released Dubai Destination from his Dalham Hall nursery in Newmarket.  He is currently standing as a dual-purpose flat and jumping sire at Glenview Stud in Ireland.

– Karl Patterson