Cork set for Group 3 Metric Mile

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In the upcoming Group 3 Metric Mile (1600m) at this Saturday, the talented mare Cork, trained in partnership by and Pam Gerard, will be making her return to stakes competition.

Cork, a six-year-old mare with just 15 starts to her name, has shown a strong affinity for heavy tracks, boasting four wins and two stakes placings while accumulating over $100,000 in stakes earnings.

After a convincing victory over 1400m at in July, Cork ventured south to Riccarton Park for the .

There, she narrowly missed her first stakes victory in the Group 3 (1600m), finishing a close second behind Belardo Boy with a late charge.

Pam Gerard expressed her optimism for Cork's performance, stating, “She's a really honest mare, and hopefully there's a bit of cut in the track, there's a bit of rain around, and it's a really good race for her, so that's why we've targeted it.

“She was huge down in Christchurch, had a bit of a let-up after that, and she's come back pretty willing in her work, so she's pretty spot on for something like this.”

Cork's participation in the Awapuni feature serves as a potential lead-up to the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) three weeks later at Hastings.

“She'll head to Awapuni this weekend, so she's unlikely to run in the mile (Group 1 Arrowfield Plate, 1600m) on the second day at Hastings, but depending on the track, we're keeping our options for the 2000m (Livamol Classic) on the last day.”

In addition to Cork's campaign, Ballymore Stables will have a strong at other North Island venues during the week.

At on Wednesday, they will field six runners, including promising gelding Mineshaft.

Gerard praised Mineshaft, saying, “Mineshaft was probably a bit unlucky last start. He's going super, and given the right trip, he'd be very hard to beat.”

Among their contenders at Matamata is three-year-old Juwala, who will appreciate the step up in distance to a mile. Gerard commented, “Stepping up to the mile will be right up his alley.”

Another hopeful is the lightly-tried Redwood four-year-old Fancy Like, whom Gerard expects to be fitter this time around and not too far off the pace.

Candy Flip, Onlywords, and the Contributor mare Claimed Gift will also make appearances at Matamata. Claimed Gift, making her raceday debut, is a mare that Pam Gerard believes has potential but may need the run for education, especially due to a lack of trials for older horses.

Furthermore, the Moroney/Gerard combination will have runners at both Tauranga on Saturday and Rotorua on Sunday, with Chancellor and promising maiden set to compete at the latter meeting.

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