New Zealand mare Holy Moly’s Australian debut landed trans-Tasman trainer John Sargent a milestone win at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Last season’s champion New Zealand trainer set up a Sydney satellite stable at Warwick Farm in August, and stakes winner Holy Moly’s narrow first-up victory in the Nestle Professional Sprint (1200m) brought up Sargent’s first city winner out of the new stable.
“It’s a great result and takes a bit of pressure off,” Sydney stable foreman Andrew Carston said.
Holy Moly ($9.50) was having her first start for the stable and Carston said Sargent would look to raise the bar after the mare defeated the favourite Pentasia ($3.70) by a head with Zauberflote ($5.50) a short head away third.
“She’s a good filly and won a Listed race in New Zealand as a three-year-old over 1400 metres,” Carston said.
“She trialled really well and I was happy with her but until you run them against the Sydney Saturday class you don’t really know where you sit.
“She’ll improve with that.”
He said the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) next month was a possible target.
“Especially after today, that’s looking a little bit more promising,” he said.
Connections of three-year-old Harada Bay are also eyeing a summer feature with their gelding, only his target is the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January after a breakthrough city win on Saturday.
Harada Bay ($17) might have surprised punters as he swept down the outside to take out the Chiko Handicap (1400m) by 1-3/4 lengths, but he didn’t shock his trainer Trevor Bailey who expected a big showing.
“On Tuesday morning we worked him on the course proper (at Newcastle) and he came home in 33.4 (seconds) for 600 metres and they just don’t do that,” Bailey said.
“I said to the owners if he brings his gallop to the races he’ll be winning.”
Experienced jockey Rod Quinn said Harada Bay “won on raw talent” as he was still “a big baby”.
Quinn brought up a winning double aboard the Guy Walter-trained Brightest in The McCain Advantage Handicap (1400m).
The mare will head to the $100,000 Goulburn Cup (1600m) on November 25.