Marleesand (California Dane – Next to Me) got the weekend off to a great start for Epsom Lodge and The Ladies of The Turf with her all-the-way win in the first at Cranbourne tonight.
Ridden by promising young apprentice Jessica Payne, Marleesand bounced out of the gates and took up the vanguard position with the highly fancied Godolphin runner Estaminet following her all the way home. Pat had Marleesand in great order, she was the "Pick of the Yard" and she had an attractive and vocal cheer squad – led by Racing Manager Cheryl Carey – ready to greet her in the winners stall.
Cheryl put together a syndicate of girls to race Marleesand, as she is a firm believer in encouraging women to participate in the racing world. "Women have been left in the shade as far as racing goes" Cheryl said "and it is about time for them to start to racing horses in their own right"
"I set up this syndicate so that we could give women the opportunity to take small shares in a horse and race it in their own names, enjoying the excitement and drama of racing their own horse."
This is the second Ladies of the Turf syndicate that Cheryl has set up, and Marleesand has been a great acquisition for the girls, with one win, two seconds and one fourth from four starts.
Pat bought her at the Scone Select sales in 2012, and she is now the fifth horse of the six yearlings he bought in 2012 to win a race. That is an absolutely astounding success rate – and it had made for a lot of happy owners – particularly the Ladies of the Turf!