Perissa runs fastest 800m by mare at Addington

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Overport Lodge mare Perissa caused mild surprise by pacing the fastest official final 800m for a mare at Addington with her 54.3s to win the junior drivers pace on Friday, October 16.

Even Australasia’s fastest mare and last year’s NZ Cup winner Adore Me (1:47.7, Menangle mile) only recorded one Addington win with leaders last 800m in better than 55s with a 54.9s to win a C5 & faster pace at Addington on April 11, 2014.

Perissa, even allowing for the favourable conditions, caused mild surprise with a 54.3s final 800m to win at Addington on October 16.

Perissa, even allowing for the favourable conditions, caused mild surprise with a 54.3s final 800m to win at Addington on October 16.

Border Control, now a 6YO gelding and NZ’s fastest racewinning miler, holds the distinction of winning the race with the fastest final 800m at Addington of 53.9s over 2600m on January 23, 2014.

Horse of the Year Christen Me won the 2013 Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup (2600m stand) with a closing 800m in 54s even, and also won with a final 800m in 54.2s over 1950m at Addington in April, 2013, from good mares Elusive Chick and Southwind Arden.

He ran his last 800m in 54.9s to win last year’s Woodlands NZ Free-For-All and sub 55s final 800m runs had previously only been regularly shown by the elite pacers in NZ Free-For-Alls.

Christen Me’s sire Christian Cullen himself formerly recorded the quickest official final 800m at Addington in 1998 when running his last 800m in 54.4s in front to win the Air NZ Free-For-All.

Auckland Reactor came from the back early to run his last 800m in 54.4s from parked at the half to win the 2008 Woodlands NZ Free-For-All over 2000m, winning in a 1:54 rate.

He also won with a 54.7s final 800m to win the 2009 Summer Cup and ran 54.8s to win two junior free-for-alls.

Gold Ace ran his last 800m in 54.7s in front to win the 2012 Woodlands NZ Free-For-All when run over the shorter 1609m trip in 1:52.6.

Perissa’s trainer Mark Jones was rapt with the resumption effort and the drive of Craig Ferguson to land her a convincing winner of the C1-2 mares Lamb & Hayward Mobile Pace.

“Craig drove her perfect,” Mark said.

“It would have to be the fastest half for a mare at Addington,” he said.

“She goes good fresh and is a good tough mare.”

Mark says there is a chance the 6YO daughter of Art Major and Riwaka Star may be sold to race in North America after sprinting in over her last 400m in 26.2s.

“If not we will look at the speed series down south with her,” he said.

Perissa, who was kept up to her work on the front-end from the half, rated 1:58.9 for the full 1950m for her fifth win from 47 NZ starts, taking her earnings to $42,876 for owners, Steve and Maureen O’Brien.

In January, she set a Rangiora mares track mark over 2000m when winning in 2:24.8, a 1:56.4 mile rate.

She also rated 1:57 to win over 1950m at Addington on July 10.

Perissa is the last foal from Riwaka Star, an In The Pocket mare from Tabella Ace, a Splapstick mare who won three from 19 starts for Roy and Barry Purdon in the late 1980s.

Riwaka Star, who recorded five placings from just 10 starts, including a third to Happy Golucky and Impish in the 1999 G2 Nevele R Stud Stakes, is a half-sister to a Group One winning filly in Slaps (2:00.2, Aust, 22 wins & $A142,344 including the 1993 South Australian Oaks).

She is also a sister to Riwaka Rocket (1:56, Aust, 28 wins & $119,227), and a half-sister to another useful Australian winner in Riwaka Vance (1:57.6, Aust, 15 wins & $A114,499), and the NZ winner Kaipara Rocket (four wins).

Meanwhile Southland junior reinsman, and part-time Overport Lodge winter employee Craig Ferguson, continues to make every trip north a winning one as he strives for a junior drivers title this term.

Craig, in his final season as a junior, was backing up from an upset win with fellow Overport runner Fair Dinkum Bromac at Timaru on October 4.

He advanced to seven wins to join Kimberly Butt in second place  on the premiership junior table, now five behind early leader Brad Williamson.

By Jeff Scott