Tough filly High Fashion claimed the G3 Desert Gold Stakes in a finish that was only a pimple away from being a triple dead-heat at Trentham on Saturday.
High Fashion (3f O’Reilly – Pin High by Pins) faced the breeze and refused to surrender in the straight to win by a nose from Soriano (Savabeel) and Lucky Country (Darci Brahma) who couldn’t be separated by the judge.
“I’m very proud of her – she showed a lot of guts,” Copperbelt Lodge trainer Kevin Gray said. “We are looking at the Lowland Stakes on the way to the NZ Oaks – I think she will make a lovely staying filly.”
The Desert Gold was the latest leg of the NZB Filly of the Year Series and High Fashion collected 6 points for her win. The next race in the NZB Series is the G2 Sir Tristram Classic at Waikato on February 9.
Gray’s son Stephen bought High Fashion for $30,000 from Waikato Stud at the 2011 Karaka Premier Sale. She now races for stable clients Howard and Pam Forbes.
NZ champion O’Reilly sired her from Ellerslie winner Pin High. Her half-brother Ultimate Aim (Centaine) won a G2 Waikato Gold Cup and Listed Geelong Cup.
Kevin Gray will be presenting two yearlings at Karaka 2013 next week – colts by Keeper (Lot 431) and Alamosa (Lot 774). “I’ve been coming to the sales for 40 years and this is the first time that I’ve ever sold a horse here,” commented Gray. “They’re both out of mares that we’ve raced and it’s going to be good fun to see how they go.”
O’Reilly will be represented by 47 yearlings in the Karaka Premier Sale and another 16 yearlings at the Karaka Select Sale.