At Pakenham on Sunday, Groovin’ kicked strongly in the straight to score a comfortable victory in the three-year-old Maiden over 1600m.
Groovin’ has been a work in progress over the past six months, at all times showing some ability but also giving Nigel the impression she will improve with maturity. At Blackiston Racing we have got to know the progeny of Mastercraftsman well, with Nigel training four of them so far and convinced they need to be brought along slowly to reach their potential well into their three and four-year-old seasons.
At her first run as a three-year-old, Nigel sent Groovin’ to Adelaide for a three-year-old fillies race. It was a slowly run race, and she was hampered up the straight before finishing a 2.5 length fourth. But the trip away greatly assisted her development.
On Sunday at Pakenham, she jumped cleanly. Posted a little wide after 100m, Michael Walker calmly allowed her to go forward to sit outside the leader. This is where Michael excels as a rider, keeping his horse balanced, relaxed and breathing. Groovin’ kicked strongly at the top of the straight and denied the late challenger, hot favourite Theanswermyfriend.
Groovin’ is another horse raced on lease by a partnership put together by Managing Owner Ian Lewis and Blackiston Racing. She is leased off Windsor Park Stud, thanks to the negotiations between Ian, Nigel and Mike Moran at Windsor Park.
Groovin’ is out of the unraced mare, Imperial Dragon, a half-sister by High Chaparral to eight winners including Clean Sweep, winner of the Group 1 NZ Two Thousand Guineas. This is also the family of Group 1 winners Gal In A Ruckus (Kentucky Oaks and Canadian Oaks), Soft Falling Rain (Champion 2YO Colt in South Africa 2011-12, & Champion 3YO Miler in UAE 2012-13), and Habibti (Del Mar Debutante Stakes and Hollywood Starlet Stakes).
As mentioned, Nigel is building up a great understanding of the progeny of Mastercraftman. Give them time and they generally reward. This point is proven by his world-wide results. No fewer than 23 stakes-winners hail from his first Northern and Southern Hemisphere crops who are now five-year-olds, at a remarkable 11% of runners. We hope Groovin’ heads that way in time.
Groovin’s next race start is likely to be the Listed Hill Smith Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday 8 October. Stepping her up to 1850m and giving her a taste of stakes-company will be a great test for her and will help Nigel decide on future race plans. But Nigel suspects a measured approach to her Spring campaign will benefit Groovin’ in the Autumn.