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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: March 20, 2022: London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down, so one of The Wiggles’ signature tunes goes.

But a five-year-old mare who earned her name from the stallion London Bridge certainly stood up at Orange today.

Having only her fifth start after a late beginning to her racing career, Izfallingdown ($19) surged home along the inside to break through in the Maiden Handicap (1300m).

Giving husband and wife trainers Philippe and Tara Vigouroux their second success of the season, Izfallingdown (Ken Dunbar) overpowered Suomenlinna ($6) in the closing stages – providing a fillip for her New Zealand breeder Dale Casson.

“Dale hasn’t been in best of health, and I’m sure he would have got a real boost seeing the mare win today,” Tara Vigouroux said this evening.

“He stayed in Izfallingdown when Phil and I took a lease on her.”

Tara Vigouroux’s father, former Hawkesbury Race Club chairman Ken Quigley, is also in the syndicate which races the mare.

“This was only Izfallingdown’s second run this campaign and, though she got out the back in her first few career runs, she was always hitting the line,” Tara Vigouroux said.

“Both her trackwork rider Wendy and myself had a hunch she might do something today, and hopefully that win will give her confidence.”

Izfallingdown, by American-bred London Bridge (who stands at stud in Victoria), is the last foal of the Danehill Dancer mare Dezhilla, who died in August, 2019.

“We didn’t get her until she was nearly three years of age, and we’ve taken our time with her,” Vigouroux said.

“She is a really pleasant mare to train.”

Team Vigouroux did a good job with Izfallingdown’s older siblings, winning six races with the now retired geldings Azcannyaz and Cass ‘N’ Black (both sired by Canny Lad).

But with better fortune, their results would have been even better as the pair between them notched 34 minor placings.

Team Vigouroux also scored with another roughie, $17 chance Black Banjo, at Queanbeyan in January.

. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer and former jockey Claire Lever continued easily the best of her two seasons after hanging up her saddle by also featuring in the winner’s list at Orange.

Another five-year-old mare, Choosday Nights, gave Lever her 11th victory since August 1 (and 18th overall).

Choosday Nights ($4.20), ridden by Mathew Cahill, worried $2.35 favorite Sizzle Chic out of the major prize in the Class 2 Handicap (1400m).

Raced by the trainer and her mother Bernadette Nutman, the New Zealand-bred Jimmy Choux mare has been and continues to be a very consistent performer.

Her 12 starts have yielded three wins and six placings – and two of those wins and five seconds have come from her last seven outings.

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