Waverley mare Glory Days took a step toward a few northern features when making a successful staying debut on her home course on Sunday.
Trained by Bill Thurlow, Glory Days completed a hat trick of wins when stepping up from her 1600m win at Hawera and her 1800m victory at New Plymouth to score decisively in the Steelform Roofing Group Waverley Cup (2200m).
Coming from second-last of the seven starters, the Red Giant six-year-old cruised up nearing the home turn and raced clear over the final stages to win by four and a quarter lengths from last year’s winner, Balham.
“I’ve always thought she would be at her best over ground, but I’ve just waited to try her,” Thurlow said.
“She’s not very big, but she finishes her races off well. She’s won seven races and until this one she hadn’t won by much more than a half-length at the most.
“She’s by Red Giant from a Montjeu mare so she’s bred to stay.
“She’ll go up in the ratings now and have to race in open races. She’ll probably go to the Wanganui Cup next then I could take her north.”
The next likely mission for Glory Days after the Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge Wanganui Cup (2040m) on December 1 will be the Gr.3 Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa a fortnight later.
Glory Days holds nominations for the Gr.3 City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 9.
“If she went well at Te Rapa I’d have to look at the City Of Auckland Cup,” Thurlow said.
“Ideally I’d like to be able to give her a run that way round (right-handed) before it, but there’s nothing for her.”
Thurlow has had one attempt at the Auckland Cup, back in 2012 with Yours, who finished unplaced.
“I also won the Waverley Cup with him, but he didn’t win as easily as Glory Days,” Thurlow said.
“He’s the best stayer I’ve had, but I think she will be better.”
As a past-president of the Waverley Racing Club, Thurlow got a thrill out of a highly successful day for his club, topped off by a couple of stable wins with Rockoneve following up Glory Day’s win with an impressive victory in the last race.
Thurlow has a dozen horses in work, but just four at the racing stage and he made Sunday’s meeting a special day for his brother, Grant, and his wife, Patricia.
“They race Glory Days with a couple of my friends, Brent and Sue McAree, and they also have a share in Rockoneve,” he said.
“They originally leased Glory Days off Gloria Kenny, then exercised their right of purchase.
“We also got Rockoneve off Gloria after a few runs and she hasn’t gone a bad race for us.
“She’s won two for us now and I think she’ll win a handy race. I could look at stepping her up over 1600m next.” - NZ Racing Desk