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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis

THE CHEERS COULD BE HEARD FROM ENGLAND


Photo Credit: Bradley Photos

THURSDAY: August 18, 2022: SHOOTING Pasture’s home track victory at Hawkesbury today brought cheers from 17,000km away.

The lightly-raced mare took the XXXX Gold Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1300m), continuing the excellent start to the season by her husband and wife trainers Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard.

But it was 5.30am in England when Lucy watched on through her phone, and cheered her “girl” to the line.

The expatriate English woman made a surprise trip home to Sussex, not far from London, for her brother’s 40th birthday – but it’s a working break all the same.

“I got up at 4 am to do some work on the computer, and was wide awake when Shooting Pasture’s race was run,” Lucy Keegan-Attard said this evening.

“We syndicated the mare to a good group of people, including my cousin Olivia Keegan-O’Brien, who lives in Berkshire (well known for its sheep farming), and she named Shooting Pasture.”

Two and a half years after she was sold at the 2020 Magic Millions yearling sale for $20,000, and having only her fourth start, Shooting Pasture ($6) broke through, recouping her purchase price in the process as the Provincial Showcase meeting offered a first prize of $22,275.

“She was a great bodied horse when I saw her at the sale, and looked at her a few times,” Lucy Keegan-Attard said.

“She was the first lot from Book 2 into the ring on the Sunday, and I was able to buy her for less than what I expected she would sell for.

“Winning with her today was important, as she has a nice pedigree and will carry residual value from a breeding viewpoint.

“Shooting Pasture is a big mare and was always going to take time.”

A daughter of four-times (including the 2014 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas) winner Shooting To Win, Shooting Pasture’s dam Embellish is by a son of the great Redoute’s Choice in Break The Vault, who won four of his eight starts.

The mare’s older half-brother, the now retired Epic Grey, won six races in Western Australia and Victoria.

Jason Attard said he and his wife were never going to rush Shooting Pasture because of her size.

“We had to be patient to let her fully develop, and didn’t start racing her until earlier this year.

“It has been worth the wait.

“Shooting Pasture ran a great race when sixth at Warwick Farm last time, holding on really well after showing pace on a heavy track, and the runner-up Aft Cabin came out and won by six lengths at Sandown at his next run.

“We were a bit worried about her outside draw today, but Rachel King didn’t bustle her early, then brought her to the outside on straightening and she finished the race off well.

“Both horse and rider did a terrific job.”

Shooting Pasture sustained a determined burst to overhaul Avvertimento ($7) and Hope Uno ($21), giving Team Attard its third winner in the first two and a half weeks of the new season.

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