Michael and Matthew Pitman are expecting another bold performance at Riccarton on Saturday from Ohio Showgirl, whose debut victory on October 5 delivered early success for a new wave of Pearl Syndicates.
Centred around the NZB Insurance Pearl Series, the syndicates were developed in partnership with long-time Pitman stable client and friend Jim Bruford, who is also a member of the NZB Insurance team. The concept dates back to the 2014 Karaka yearling sales.
The initial Pearl Fillies Syndicate was made up of First Serve, Fade To Grey and Queen Serene, who cost less than $17,000 between them. They won a total of 14 races and more than $220,000 in prize-money, plus more than $30,000 in additional Pearl Series bonuses.
First Serve was the clear standout, winning seven of her 10 starts including the Gr.3 Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) before a tragic fatal breakdown in the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham in January 2017.
“We had a lot of success with one of these syndicates a few seasons back, especially with First Serve,” Michael Pitman said.
“We went to Karaka earlier this year and bought four fillies. We’ve set up two new Pearl Syndicates, with two of those fillies in each one.
“We think it makes a lot of sense for our stable to target those Pearl races. They carry good prize-money, they run quite a few of them at Riccarton through the season, and we’ve enjoyed plenty of success in them in the past. They’re well worth having a crack at.”
Ohio Showgirl was a $45,000 purchase at Book 1 of Karaka 2019. She defied $49 odds, traffic trouble and a wide run for her impressive debut victory three weeks ago.
“She won really well that day and it was a really tough run, so you’d expect her to find a bit of improvement out of it,” Pitman said. “We’re really happy with her heading into Saturday’s race. She’s been working well and is very bright and happy.”
Kavish Chowdhoory, who was in the saddle for Ohio Showgirl’s debut victory, retains the ride on Saturday. The pair will jump from gate six in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (800m).
The other Pearl Syndicate fillies secured by Pitman and Bruford are the $50,000 Book 2 purchase Showgem, who trialled last month, plus the $20,000 Book 2 purchase Lovebug and the $40,000 Book 2 buy Miss Tycoon Rose.
The NZB Insurance Pearl Series is a bonus scheme for Southern Hemisphere bred fillies and mares, offering bonuses of almost $2.6 million and prizemoney of nearly $2.8 million. The scheme includes 200 individual races for fillies and mares over three seasons' racing, with bonuses for each race of up to $20,000.For more information click here. -NZ Racing Desk