Wairere Falls on his way to winning at Geelong. Photo: Reg Ryan/Racing Photos
A minor surgery has worked the oracle with the Wairere Falls who broke maiden ranks at Geelong on Friday.
The three-year-old son of Savabeel was having just his third career start, and first since a gelding operation, finishing strongly to win the 1200m event.
Wairere Falls, who races in the Go Racing silks, jumped nicely and settled at the rear of the field under a quiet ride from Damien Thornton.
Thornton started to encourage him through his gears inside the 600m and when the gap presented itself on the straight they made their move.
Wairere Falls continued to let down strongly as he met the challenge of race favourite Toyetic over the final 200m but was tough and got the upper hand to secure the win.
Trainer Chris Waller was happy with the run and is predicting Wairere Falls will progress well from Friday’s effort.
“Damien was very pleased with his performance and commented that he did everything right today,” he said. “His manners were better and he should be in for a nice preparation.”
“It was good to see him ridden nice and quietly to instructions from the draw and have him settling and doing things right.
“He came with a well-timed run so is certainly heading in the right direction.”
Go Racing purchased the well-related gelding out of Waikato Stud’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 yearling draft.
Out of Iguazu’s Girl, Wairere Falls is a half-brother to four-time Group One winner and former stallion Sacred Falls who passed away last year. It is also the family of Group winners Packing Pins, Shopaholic and Splurge.
Go Racing Group Three winner Passing Shot was super consistent on the racetrack and has found a post-racing career where his dependability is equally valued.
Purchased by Albert Bosma as a yearling for $50,000 out of Westbury Stud’s 2013 New Zealand Bloodstock draft, Passing Shot amassed over $415,000 in stakes from 52 starts out of the barn of Stephen McKee.
The son of Swiss Ace won 11 times, including three times at black-type level, and was placed on a further 12 occasions.
“It was a significant milestone as very few horses clock up double digit wins. Right from the beginning we knew we were onto something special with Shotty,” Bosma said.
Passing Shot debuted as a two-year-old and raced on till he was seven, a testament to his soundness and temperament.
Raced by the Go Racing The Ace Syndicate, Passing Shot’s biggest win came in the Gr.3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) as a 3YO in 2015 and finished 4th in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap in 2018.
Passing Shot is now a valued member of Anna Baigent’s team at her Horse Assisted Learning Programme in Miranda.
Young rider Lyla is a big fan of ‘Shotty’ and the pair have quickly developed a strong bond. Lyla always rides Passing Shot in her private sessions and the pair recently entered an online show where they were placed second in the highpoints class for ex-Go Racing horses entered in the event.
“Shotty is a very smoochy horses who loves a cuddle,” Baigent said. “Above all we love his teachability, he is very intelligent and is always happy to learn new things.”
Passing Shot’s former trainer Stephen McKee was not surprised that Shotty has been so popular. “He’s an absolute character and was a firm favourite with the stable staff. We miss him at the barn but we are rapt he is so happy in his retirement,” he said.
Long time Go Racing supporter and part owner of Passing Shot, Phil Mitchell says, “We were sad to see him retired but he had done us proud and deserves to be well looked after.”