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Breeder on top of the world after filly lands Group 1

Travelling Light on her way to Group One success - Race Images
Travelling Light on her way to Group One success

Race Images

Small-time Tauranga breeder Coll MacRury celebrated his finest success when his gifted filly Travelling Light (NZ) (El Roca) trumped her male rivals with a hollow victory in the G1 Woodridge Homes Levin Classic at Trentham.

The chief executive of an Australian-owned meat processing and packaging company by day, MacRury has been an owner for two decades and ventured into breeding with the private purchase of his current pride and joy’s dam Cissy Bowen (NZ) (Colombia {NZ}).

She won five races from Ben Foote’s stable and that association now goes back 10 years and fully ignited with the emergence of Travelling Light.

“As a breeder this is a dream come true and a victory for the small guy,” MacRury said. “We’re going to take her along quietly and won’t over-race her.

“We haven’t got any set plan, but she is nominated for the Derby and the Oaks and on this run you’d think she can run the distance.”

Travelling Light’s only defeat in six appearances came at Riccarton in the spring when she was forced into the uncustomary role of pacemaker in the G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas and finished a game third.

“She’s not a leading filly and we talked about it and so she went back to last here and tracked them up. Her turn of foot was sensational,” MacRury said.

Travelling Light settled last on the fence for jockey Sam Collett in the small field and was able to track the favourite Harlech (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) everywhere he went.

Harlech was driven to the front by rider Michael Dee 250 metres from home, but Travelling Light came off his back and powered on by to beat him by 1.3l with Riodini (NZ) (Proisir) a distant third.

“I was definitely confident and just surprised they went so slowly early on,” Foote said. “She ran the mile out really strongly so there’s a few options now. We’ll just have to sit down and work it out.

“Leading all the way at Riccarton was always going to make her vulnerable so I said to Sam to track Harlech into the race and it was a great ride.”

For MacRury and Foote it was their first taste of Group 1 success and for Collett her second and presented to her when the 30-year-old opted to partner Travelling Light ahead of Riodini.

“It just couldn’t have gone any better. I wanted to be the one chasing and it all worked perfectly,” she said. “All credit to Ben, the filly looked amazing and she’s something special.

“When I got out it took her four strides to get organised and go out after them. She’s got amazing tenacity, she’s a rider’s dream and never over taxes herself.”

Travelling Light credited her Westbury Stud-based stallion El Roca with his first Group 1 siring success and added a much needed elite level credit to the family, which is shy of stakes winners.

The dam Cissy Bowen has also produced an unraced Proisir filly named Vitesse Bro (NZ) 2-year-old for MacRury and also has a Charm Spirit (Ire) colt and is safely in foal to Sacred Falls (NZ). -Paul Vitesse, TDN AUSNZ





 

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