Trial star debuts in style

Trial star debuts in style18 Oct 2023

Trainer and part-owner Nigel Tiley was expecting a bold debut showing from Karaka Million 3YO Classic hopeful About A Girl at Tauranga and the daughter of Almanzor delivered to order.

The Pukekohe horseman had been impressed by the three-year-old’s progress and winning trial efforts ahead of her first race day appearance over 1200 metres.

About A Girl settled second last and was still well back at the top of the straight before rider Sam Spratt got serious and the response was impressive with the filly roaring home to win going away by a length.

“It was a huge effort for a horse having her first start, and to give them all such a start and then to finish as powerfully as she did,” Tiley said.

“To be honest, from what she has showed us on the track it didn’t really surprise me, although I didn’t expect her to be that far back, but Sam told me she was confident the whole way.”

Tiley said About A Girl would make her next appearance on her home track on Melbourne Cup Day.

“There’s a three-year-old at set weights and penalties race over 1400 metres at Pukekohe for her.

“That’s the next step and if she was impressive again then we’d look for black type with our main focus is likely to be the Karaka Million 3YO mile.

“I’ll also definitely throw in a nomination for the New Zealand Oaks, you’ve got to be in to win.”

About A Girl was bred by George and Maryanne Simon and was purchased out of Carlaw Park’s New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale draft at Karaka by Tiley for $100,000.

About A Girl, whose brother was bought at Karaka this year by trainer Shaune Ritchie for $250,000, is out of the unraced Power mare Sweet Inspiration, a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 winner and sire Turn Me Loose.

“We gave her a very light prep as a two-year-old and a trial and then put her out,” Tiley said.

“Being an Almanzor she was obviously going to improve and since she has been back this time she really has gone to another level.

“She’s very masculine and she’s more like a colt than a filly in her demeanour.”