Madame Pommery benefits from J-Mac masterclass

Source: TDN, by Trent Masenhelder and Lydia Symonds

Coolmore stallion No Nay Never (USA), who shuttled to Australia for four seasons, sired his first Group 1 winner in the Southern Hemisphere when the Chris Waller-trained Madame Pommery claimed the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield, thanks largely to the brilliance of James McDonald.

With the track rated a Heavy 9 by the time of the feature race, most jockeys were keen to give the inside lanes a wide berth. But the Champion Jockey hatched a plan to go at it alone, and when the fillies straightened for home, Madame Pommery got right up underneath her rivals. With clear air ahead, she dashed clear to land the prize by 1.5l. Revolutionary Miss (Russian Revolution) finished second with She’s Licketysplit (NZ) (Turn Me Loose {NZ}) in third, while favourite Boogie Dancer (Sooboog) was fourth.

The New Zealander was effusive in his praise of Madame Pommery.

“At some point in time they’re going to overdo it (staying off the rail) and I reckon that had come to the time and a lot of the races are pace-related as well,” McDonald told

“I was very comfortable with where I was, it was so economical tucked away where I was, a Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained runner (North Star Lass), ridden by Timmy Clark, was always going to get to the right spot at the time.

“He took me to the right spot at the right time and my filly was classy enough to get the job done.

“Chris (Waller) has had a lot of faith in this filly and hence why he brought her down and he asked me to come down. He said she would be very hard to beat and he was quietly confident.

“She skipped through it (the wet) okay, she ran the mile out very strongly and she was the right filly on the day.”

McDonald has been in imperious form this spring. He partnered Anamoe (Street Boss {USA}) and Golden Mile (Astern) to Group 1 glory on Saturday, and a week earlier, was aboard Zougotcha (Zoustar) when she landed the G1 Flight S. And he has the sit aboard short-priced favourite Nature Strip (Nicconi) in Saturday’s $15 million The Everest.

Madame Pommery is from the Exceed And Excel mare Cancel, who won twice from five starts, while her second dam is Cataclysm (Marauding {NZ}), who produced G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Earthquake (Exceed And Excel) and stakes-winning duo Palomares (Commands) and Pandemic (Sepoy). Other stakes winners in the family include El Cambio (Commands) and Complicate (Commands).

The filly was consigned to the Coolmore Stud draft at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where she was knocked down to Waller Racing/Mulcaster Bloodstock for $150,000.

Madame Pommery improved her record to two wins and two placings from seven starts, for earnings of $774,600.

Waller wasn’t at Caulfield, leaving his assistant trainer, Charlie Duckworth to talk to the media post-race.

He said: “It was a fantastic ride. We were a little bit nervous as to whether she would see out a tough mile, especially when the rain came, it threw some serious doubt into our minds. She got a gem of a ride, did no work early and only had to chime in at the 400-metre mark. She let down pretty impressively.

“It’s incredible to take out a Group 1, this stable has taken out the Flight S. (with Zougotcha) and now the Thousand Guineas.

“Massive credit to the filly and it’s just awesome to be a part of it.

“She’s obviously an exciting prospect and it’s an all-ladies’ syndicate. Sophie (Baker) and Stephanie (Waller) put this together hoping that they could run in the Magic Millions and now they’ve won a Thousand Guineas, so it’s above and beyond expectations; I think they would have all been happy to have a winner at Kembla or Geelong on a Thursday. To win here today is just mind-blowing.”


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