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Penny Black NZ Kicks Off Her WA Debut With Anticipated Win

3 minute read

Penny Black NZ made her way from New Zealand to the stables of Michael Young some months ago, for the eye watering price tag of $100,000, but on Monday she began to repay her owners with a first up win at Pinjarra.

The four-year-old went into the race after a 'disappointing' trial win the week earlier at Byford, but Michael Young wasn't overly concerned with that run, but with her trackwork on the Friday leading into the race, he couldn't see a scenario where she would get beaten.

"I was pretty confident because she led up and beat Montana D J NZ on the track on Friday and she run home in 27.1 and he couldn't get over her and he trialled on Sunday, and went really well, so that gave me a fair bit of confidence." Young said.

In her trial leading into the race eight days prior, she didn't handle the Byford track all that well, hanging and pacing roughly on the bends, but Young wasn't writing her off, stating "she should have run last really with how she paced, and she still won the trial and ran through the line strong."

"She's got a big motor and a big heart, we weren't that happy with her action on the track, but we didn't think it was that bad until we got to race speed, and that was at trials, and then obviously she paced terrible, so for the next couple of runs I took her out to Snrs and Jnr sat behind her, and we tweaked a few things and now she's perfect."

Being relatively low assessed still, Penny Black will stick to the country circuit for the foreseeable short term, with Young hopeful they can target some of the mares features later in the year.

Penny Black NZ started as the $1.05 favourite in the last at Pinjarra, starting from barrier three, Hall Jnr eased into the one-out-one-back position and with 600m to go, peeled off three wide to win by an 8m margin, with her ears pricked on the line.

"She always gave the feel, she just felt the same all the way through but as you know, you work them down quicker and quicker each time they go, so every time she went quicker, she felt the same as when she was going slow at the start, I just knew she was going to be that type of horse, and that's how she raced yesterday."

A few of the ownership group were on track yesterday to witness the first win, including Adam Durrant and Matt Beard, a first-time owner in the trots.

"They were over the moon, punching home a $1.05 shot like she was 50-1."

"I did warn the owners pre-race that they wouldn't be (happy with it), she's just not an impressive type of animal to watch,

"In saying that, Junior came in saying that she would have run another 400m at the same speed,

"She's not very racy yet, pre-race I told them if they run home in 30, she will win by a length and if they run home in 27, she will win by a length, she's just that type of horse,

2022 Harness The Dream participant Rob McKay jumped at the opportunity to buy a share in Penny Black NZ when he saw the opportunity advertised via social media.

In a case of being in the right place at the right time, Young heading out to the property of Gary Hall Snr to iron out the issues with his mare led to an opportunity he couldn't refuse, with Hall Snr offering him FlyBye Lou NZ, a $150,000 purchase that appears to have an abundance of ability.

"It could be the luckiest move, because Penny trialled bad I took her to Snr's and when I was there, he said 'Do you still ride any out there?' and I said yeah we ride a couple, and he asked me to take a horse for him to ride it because it was pulling."

"She's an unraced three-year-old filly that should be an Oaks contender if she gets up,

"We've had her for a couple of weeks, and we ride her and she doesn't tighten the rein."

It's an exciting time for the stable, with a few new horses coming through the ranks, with Montana D J NZ making his debut for the team last Sunday at Byford, with an impressive trial win ahead of Winegum NZ and Ragazzao Mach NZ who hasn't been seen since the 20th of January 2023.

Montana D J was purchased for $33,000 on an online auction, a purchase that his ownership group and Michael Young are very excited about.

"We found him on the Gavelhouse auction site and we thought we would go to $50,000 for him and we were watching the bidding and he was at $31,000 or $32,000 left and with not long left Eddie (Burchill) punched in a bid for $33,000 right at the end and we got him,

"The next day, one of the agents from over east rung us and asked if we were interested in selling him because Andy Gath tried buying him for his owner and he thought he had the bidding shot to bits, so he went to the toilet and came back and he lost the horse,

"So, they actually offered us quite a bit more than we paid for him, but we said no because we liked him."

Montana D J NZ won five straight in New Zealand from February 2021 to June 2023 and after a last start win at Cambridge on the 19th of January this year, found himself up for sale, with Young and connections very keen on securing the now five-year-old.

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