By Matt Jones
Throw more weight at Polly Grey and she still keeps winning.
The Chris Waller-trained mare took out the Rosehill feature, the Listed Lord Mayors Cup, with an extra 3.5kg on her back after her Gosford Cup triumph two week earlier.
Over 2000m, that weight really makes a difference most of the time but the grey mare didn’t race like she received a penalty.
“It’s really tough to do,” said Waller’s racing manager and assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth.
“You don’t like harping on about mares in form too much but once they find that rhythm they seem to keep thriving and it doesn’t affect them when they’re getting more weight.
“There’s not much you can do about it when you keep winning races, but an extra 3.5kg is a fair bit and I’d say she’ll be harshly treated again.”
Polly Grey ($5.50) wasn’t the favourite because Parry Sound ($3) was carrying 5kg less around the Rosehill circuit.
He came off her back in the straight and looked to let down well enough to get past her but Polly Grey wasn’t going down without a fight and responded at the 200m and wouldn’t let her rival get past her.
Jockey Tommy Berry said she was entitled to run second under the circumstances.
“She was there to be beaten because she’s had to take up the rest of the field and Parry Sound got the beautiful cart up behind me,” Berry said.
“But she just went into another gear when Parry Sound came up next to me.
“She hit a bit of a flat spot but I think because she was just getting there and she had nothing to challenge her, and when a challenger came up she was the superior horse on the day.”
When Polly Grey broke Parry Sound she went on to record a comfortable enough half-length win.
“She was winning well too after pulling away in the last 50m,” Duckworth said.
“It was another tough win for her. Obviously each win gets harder and harder for her as she creeps up in the weights.
“She was very well rated by Tommy today. The two greys in the race let the speed go and they just camped off it.
“It looked like it was going to be a bit nerve-racking because I know Wu Gok doesn’t lay down easily.”
Tommy Berry brings Polly Grey back to scale after winning the Lord Mayors Cup. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images
Polly Grey came over from New Zealand with six wins to her name and went winless at her first preparation with Waller but has picked up three wins in her second Australian campaign.
And the stable wasn’t too surprised about that. It was more her ability to run well on a track rated a Soft 5 but not rain-affected that she likes.
“We thought wet tracks were the key to her but she’s done it on a firmer deck today so full credit to the mare. She’s really thriving in Sydney and long may it continue,” Duckworth said.
“She’s finding her mark and how much further she goes on from this, I’m not sure, but she’s ticked all the boxes.
“She’s thriving in her routine and they take a bit of time to adapt to our training. Their first prep generally isn’t as good as their first.”
She’s been able to adjust to Waller’s systems and the way we race in Sydney.
“It’s a completely different pressure here, especially with horses that can be field shy. In Australia we race a lot tighter than they do in New Zealand and Europe,” Duckworth said.
Photo: Bradleys Photos