Two weeks after a luckless run over the same course and distance, well-related local mare Candyflip turned her fortunes around in style in Saturday’s Fairview Motors Matamata Maiden (1400m).
Trained by Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard, the Kermadec mare has tended to get back in the running in her recent races – particularly in her last-start fifth at Matamata on September 20, when she was slow to begin, settled near the tail of the field and then was badly blocked in the straight. She ended up crossing the line 2.2 lengths from the winner Pow Tong, giving the impression that she should have been much closer.
It was a very different story on Saturday, where Candyflip overcame 25-to-one odds and a wide barrier draw to land an upset victory.
Ridden positively by Jasmine Fawcett, Candyflip broke alertly from the starting gate and slid forward to sit outside the front-running Sense Of Style. Candyflip quickened stylishly in the straight and went clear, keeping up a strong gallop to the line to score by half a length from the fast-finishing Wallen.
“She jumped too well today to try to restrain her, so I just let her slide forward,” Fawcett said. “I galloped her midweek, so I knew she had a good finish on her, and she just let rip today.
“She got checked last time and ended up well back and had to run on, but today we had no trouble at all and just had a beautiful, clear run.”
The 1400m maiden race on Matamata Cup Day has previously been won by a number of rising three-year-old talents, including the subsequent Gr.1 Levin Classic winner Romancing The Moon last year. Candyflip is a little older at age six, but still appears to be a mare with plenty of upside. Her 12-start career has now produced a win and three placings.
Candyflip is out of the Lonhro mare Frothed, who is a half-sister to Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Fiumicino and a granddaughter of the great Horlicks. Second dam Latte is a half-sister to Group One stars Brew and Bubble.
Paul Moroney Bloodstock and Ballymore Stables paid $110,000 to buy Candyflip from the Book 1 draft of breeders Inglewood Stud at Karaka in 2019.
“She’s always tended to get back, take her time to get breathing and then finish it off, but she really came out racing today,” Gerard said. “She’s run up to how she worked the other day, which was very impressive.”