By: Mark Nowell @MarkANowell
Patience is paying off for the connections of Adriatic Pearl after a convincing win in the $30,000 Gallagher (Rating 85) over 1600 metres on Saturday.
The lightly raced rising seven-year-old is named after a boat in the Mediterranean Sea, and it couldn't be more appropriate. "Grey, sleak and fast, like the boat in the Mediterranean," part-owner and trainer Jim Pender said.
The grey daughter of Zed settled handy, improved along the inside of fellow grey Leeds (S.McKay), and drew out to a half-length victory with nearly five lengths back to El Pescado (J.Riddell) in third.
"That surprised me, she travelled the whole way," regular rider Trudy Thornton said.
"That was an absolute bonus for me!"
Adriatic Pearl winning time was 1:40.8 (last 600m in 37.11) a Slow9 track.
"I was surprised she raced as handy as she did today," Tauranga trainer Jim Pender said.
"She's got that X-factor and she's a lovely mare to do anything with. She's really matured now."
"She's a lovely mare, one of those that you really enjoying working with. It's great to see her back in form after nothing went right for her for a long time. She came up with a hoof problem and had to spend four months in her box," commented Pender.
"Trudy loves the mare and she gets on really well with her, I'll be in trouble if I ever take her off."
Pender is now considering his options with Adriatic Pearl, one possibility being the 2200-metre Taumarunui Cup at Rotorua in two weeks' time.
"The Taumarunui Gold Cup has been mentioned, but it might be too much," he said.
"She's yet to start at anything further than a mile, so I'll just wait and see."
Adriatic Pearl recorded her sixth win from 21 starts and has earned over $86,000 in stakes for owners Mrs R Henderson, A L P Knap, J C Pender & I Smith.
"All we want now is a bit of black type with her and we'll look for that probably next season," part-owner and trainer Jim Pender said.