Imported mare Igraine rubber-stamped her quality as a stayer of note when she downed a handy line-up in Saturday’s Gr.3 Ssangyong Counties Cup (2100m) at Pukekohe.
Carrying the famous Trelawney Stud colours of owners Brent and Cherry Taylor, the impeccably bred Galileo mare proved too tough in a grinding finish with race favourite Mongolian Marshal to capture her first success at stakes level.
Purchased in Europe by bloodstock agent Paul Moroney as a future broodmare prospect for the Taylor’s, Igraine has now added an invaluable black-type success to her career record that stands at five wins from just 12 starts.
Co-owner Cherry Taylor was quick to mention the work of Moroney who outlaid 65,000 guineas for the mare at the December Tattersall’s Breeding Stock Sale after she had finished fifth to subsequent American Grade One winner, A Raving Beauty, over 1800m at Listed level in Germany.
“We’re just so proud of her,” Taylor said.
“Paul selected quite a few for us, we had a look at the videos and she was one we liked. We didn’t think we’d get her but he was able to buy her so we are very proud of what Paul did for us.”
No stranger to success in the race having taken out the 2009 edition with star mare Boundless, Taylor admitted the original plan to send the mare to stud would be put on hold while she chased further stakes success.
“She (Igraine) is not going to stud now and will race for another year at least,” she said.
“She’s got plenty of racing in her so we will keep going.
“The Waikato Cup will be next.”
Rider Sam Collett paid credit to the fighting nature of Igraine who showed plenty of grit in her home straight battle with Mongolian Marshal.
“I ended up in a nice spot and she travelled like the winner the whole way,” she said.
“Full credit to her as she was headed by Mongolian Marshal but she picked herself up and kept fighting to the line.”
A daughter of German Oaks winner Iota (Tiger Hill), Igraine is a half-sister to Germany’s Champion Older Horse of 2015 and Group One winner Ito (Adlerflug).