Motherhood awaits Pahruli as Queanbeyan Cup swan song looms large

Mick Smith (right) will set his mare Pahruli (pictured) for her last run on Sunday when contesting the $45,000 Queanbeyan Cup. The seven-year-old will then be sent to Victoria where she is due to be served by Kermadec. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Sunday’s $45,000 Queanbeyan Cup is set to be the final race of the Mick Smith-trained Pahruli’s career. 

The seven-year-old mare will run in the 2000m Open Handicap on Sunday before being loaded into a truck the next day and sent south to be served by Darley’s sire, Kermadec. 

“It’s complicated, that’s for sure,” Mick Smith laughed when discussing Pahruli’s chances in Sunday’s Queanbeyan Cup with NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

“She is racing tomorrow (Sunday) and the next day she is on a truck to Victoria to be served by Kermadec.

“Hopefully she can give us a win in her final race before breeding us an Oaks or future Queanbeyan Cup winner.”

Smith explained that with the end of the breeding season looming large, it was imperative that he sent Pahruli straight to Victoria.

“There are a few wheels in motion and it’s all complicated because it is the end of the breeding season, and we have to get her down there, so she doesn’t miss out,” Smith said.

Pahruli was set for big things as a two-year-old, starting out with John Thompson and finishing third at Royal Randwick on debut before running a long last in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes.

After six starts with Thompson without a win, the Domesday mare that is out of All Trumped Up, found herself in the care of Keith Dryden. 

Pahruli quickly won her maiden at Canberra over 1400m, but in 12 starts with the Canberra stable, she failed to live up to any great heights.

Funnily enough, it was her last start for Dryden in October 2018 – and coincidently her debut over 2000m – that caught the eye of Mick Smith, who quickly purchased the mare.

“She is a really interesting story. She was a pretty expensive young horse, and they ran her in the Riesling Stakes, which is a (Golden) Slipper trial, but she didn’t shine there but she must have shown something for them to run her in that race,” Smith said.

“She ended up with Keith Dryden and she won a race there and it was funny how it all worked out; we set Hilltop Hood to win a race over the 2000m at Canberra and we thought he could win. 

“He finished third, and she ran second and I thought it was an impressive run. 

“Anyway, the next day, she was up on Bloodstock Auction for sale at $8000 and I thought if Hilltop Hood was going okay, she must be pretty good, and we bought her.”

Since then, Pahruli has won four more times, earning nearly $100,000 for connections as the bay mare made a name for herself over the longer trips, wining at Canberra and Moruya twice, before a good win on her home track at Queanbeyan last month.

“That run before we bought her, that was her first go at 2000m and we knew she could stay, and she has since won four races,” Smith said. 

“She has been a good mare for us and now it’s her time to be a mum.”

In what looks a good Queanbeyan Cup on paper, Pahruli has drawn gate four and two-kilogram claiming apprentice Amy McLucas is in the saddle.

Smith said he wanted a firmer track for his mare, and he was likely to scratch his second runner, Hello China, purely because Queanbeyan had largely avoided the recent rain in the South East. 

“She (Pahruli) doesn’t like rain and wants a firmer track. We have missed most of the rain so the track should suit,” Smith said.

“Hello China probably won’t run. He wants it wet – at least a heavy 8 – and I would say his is a nine out of 10 chance of bring scratched.”

Hello China was another one of Smith’s feel good stories looking to finish his career on a high in the Queanbeyan Cup, with the $1500 purchase getting close to retirement. 

“It’s a bit sad he won’t run because it was going to be his last run ever or last run of the season,” Smith said. 

“I just need to talk to the owners now and work out if he is retired or having one more prep.”

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