The new owners of Pensardo will recoup their purchase price in double quick time if the filly can continue her winning form on the synthetic course at Cambridge on Wednesday.
The daughter of Belardo was bought out of the recent Valachi Downs Dispersal Sale on the Gavelhouse Plus online platform for $20,000 and will race for twice that amount in the Martin Collins New Zealand Handicap (1300m).
Formerly trained by Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer, Pensardo was secured at last month’s online auction by clients of Riccarton trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman and will make her way south after her final northern appearance.
“A good client of mine Snow Thomas, who raced Just Tommy with me a few years ago and he won the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m), said to me a while ago that they wouldn’t mind buying a nice horse or two,” Michael Pitman said.
“I said to him before the Valachi Downs Sale that it was a genuine sale and there should be good buying. I bought Pensardo for $20,000 on the Friday after she had won her last start and broke the track record (for 1300m) at Cambridge.
“Snow used to live just up the road from me and we’ve been friends for a long, long time and raced other horses with us just recently.”
With a lucrative purse up for grabs at Cambridge as one of four $40,000 MAAT races for their final meeting of the 21/22 season, it made sound financial sense for Pensardo to remain in the temporary northern care of good friends Graeme and Debbie Rogerson.
“We thought we would have a crack and they have been looking after the horse and I’ve been talking to Debbie every second day and she’s pretty happy with the horse,” said Pitman, who will be trackside to see the stable’s new acquisition race on Wednesday.
“I was prepared to pay a lot more for her and a couple or three jockeys were chasing the ride, but Craig (Grylls) has ridden winners for me and he’s been on in two of her last three starts so I’m more than happy to have him ride her again.
“If she gets beaten it’s not the end of the world, it’s only one race, and she’s not a dear horse and a three-year-old filly with a pedigree.”
A dual winner at Cambridge from six career outings, Pensardo is a daughter of the Star Witness mare Penny Star, who is from the family of the dual Group One winner Danendri and her grand-daughter Faint Perfume also claimed a brace of top-flight titles.
Meanwhile, the stable is looking forward to the Grand National carnival on their doorstep with Wild Rover a leading chance for the Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m).
Currently the equal third favourite at +750, the son of No Nay Never was a comfortable winner on the course two runs back before he finished fourth at Ashburton.
“He’s a really grouse horse and was impressive when he won at Riccarton and I backed him up after two weeks and he wasn’t quite the same so he’ll go a month between runs,” Pitman said.
“I think he will be competitive, I’ve never set a horse specifically for the Winter Cup before. I’ve had runners, but it wasn’t the be all and end all whereas this horse’s main aim has always been the Winter Cup.”