The leading South Island training combination of Michael and Matthew Pitman made the best possible start to their day on Saturday when they produced a race-to-race double early on the card on their home turf at Riccarton.
Showcasing two-year-old filly Showgem showed plenty of speed on debut to lead throughout over 800m in the second race of the day before just thirty minutes later Sacred Falls two-year-old filly Impecunious stormed away from her rivals over the concluding stages of a 1000m contest.
Senior training partner Michael Pitman was thrilled the pair had lived up to the high regard they are held in. “I’ve said all along that these are high-class fillies and I think they showed that today,” he said. “I told Mark Chittick (of Waikato Stud) at the yearling sales eighteen months ago that I thought I had bought the best Sacred Falls in the country and on what she showed today I still believe that. “We also think so much of Showgem that we recently purchased her half-brother by Belardo for the owner of Impecunious.”
Impecunious is owned by long-time Pitman supporter Chris Griffin, a supermarket owner from Queenstown who has had horses with the stable for more than 30 years. Pitman was glowing in his praise for Impecunious who despite showing some greenness in the run home, put her rivals away with consummate ease.
“I think she’s the best horse in our stable since Savvy Coup,” he said. “I make no secret of that as she is a very talented filly, from a Zabeel mare who was placed in the St Leger (2400m) and related to a Sydney Cup winner. “She could probably run a mile without any problems now but we will look after her and set her for the 1000 Guineas (Group 1, 1600m) and the Oaks (Group 1, 2400m) after that.
“We’ve never trialled her and we threw her in for her debut over 800m here back in January where she flew home for third and ran her last 600m in a tick over 32 seconds. “I said then we will look after her and bring her back for a stakes race in the autumn but unfortunately Covid-19 put paid to that. “She’s still a bit green but there is plenty of room for improvement so it’s very exciting.”
Pitman is undecided where both fillies would run next but indicated they would most likely have one more run each before taking on stakes company in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) in September.
Showgem is the younger half-sister of Group 1 placed filly Sardaaj and was a $50,000 purchase by Pitman from the Haunui Farm draft during Book 2 at Karaka in 2019. Part-owned by Jim Bruford, Showgem is one of three two-year-old fillies bought by Pitman and Bruford from Haunui Farm that have all won, with Lovebug and Ohio Showgirl the others.
Pitman also purchased Impecunious at Karaka in 2019 but had to go to $140,000 to secure the daughter of Zabeel mare Sheezababe from Waikato Stud. Impecunious is the grand-daughter of Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) winner Honor Babe and is related to talented galloper Kiwi Golfer who numbered the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) amongst his 16 career wins.