A scintillating win by the speedy filly Xpressmymind (Shamexpress- My Amnesia(Aus), provided Shamexpress with his first winner when she took out the NZB Insurance Pearl Series race at Riccarton recently.
Having only her second start Xpressmymind beat Miraslava by three lengths over 900 metres coming home the last 600 in a slick 32.88 seconds. In her first start she was checked out of the race at the start but still got up to finish second a neck behind Miraslava.
To add to the excitement as a Pearl Series nominated filly she also picked up a $7,500 winning bonus for her owners Janice Banks and Andrew Carston, who also picked up the trainers and nominators bonus.
Shamexpress (O’Reilly- Volkrose) retired to Windsor Park in 2015 as the winner of the prestigious Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), and to date has only had a handful of two-year-olds to the races.
“She is a surprising filly that one,” said her co-breeder Peter Westend a member of the Waikato Branch of the NZTBA, “you don’t often see a horse with such speed. She was never really that big, but was well natured and very tenacious.
“Her mother died when she was five days old and she was reared by Magic Tryst a mare borrowed from Haunui Farm, she did a pretty good job I think.”
Along with his wife Sue, Westend runs Norwegian Farms a large scale agistment operation in the Cambridge area and the couple are not short on experience when it comes to working in the thoroughbred industry. During the height of the thoroughbred season they agist around 200 mares and employ three full time staff. They also have 10 mares of their own that they breed from each year.
Before establishing Norwegian Farms which now consists of three properties, two in Cambridge and one in Ohaupo Peter was the manager of Chequers Farm and Sue worked at a number of establishments.
“My wife Sue did all the night foaling at Windsor Park for many years, and every year we send a mare to a stallion there. We bought the mare My Amnesia in Australia in 2015 she was in foal to Moshe(AUS) at the time.
“Being pretty well bred we thought we would put her to the new boy on the block at Windsor that year. We like to send a good mare to a good first season sire, then you have a reasonable chance of getting a good return that way. Since then we have been to Mongolian Khan in 2016 and Turn Me Loose last spring.”
My Amnesia the dam of Xpressmymind, is by Elvstroem(AUS) out of Attire (AUS), who is also the dam of the Champion Two-Year-Old filly Fashions Afield, by Redoute’s Choice. She won two Group One events the Flight Stakes and the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes, as well as running second in the Golden Slipper.
Attire herself a winner is out of the Group One winning Bletchingly(AUS) mare Wrap Around. It’s certainly a family with a heap of speed.
The Westends may not have My Amnesia any more but her close relation Eleesha is part of their broodmare band. Eleesha is an Encosta de Lago(AUS) mare out of Modellista who is a full sister to Fashions Afield, she is also the dam of Imelda Mary (Ferlax)who took her place in the field of the Karaka Million 2YO last month.
To add to that excitement the Westends also bred another runner in the field Thomas Aquinas a Jakalberry (IRE) colt out of their Ishiguru(USA) mare True Colours. All going to plan Xpressmymind will head towards the listed Berkeley Stud Champagne Stakes at Riccarton in May, and may well turn out to be the first stakes winner for Sue and Peter Westend and Norwegian Farms. - Michelle Saba