Glimmer shines at Waverley on debut

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  • April 22, 2024
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Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Local trainer Rosie Gibbs made a welcome return to the winner’s stall following Glimmer’s commanding debut performance in the Treadwell Gordon 1200 at Waverley on Thursday.

The three-year-old filly jumped well from the ace barrier and was sent straight to the front by jockey Chris Dell where the pair dictated terms and ran out 2-1/4 length victors in front of a cheering home crowd.

“I am absolutely thrilled,” said Gibbs, who was delighted to record her first victory in a decade.

“She was only broken-in in August and then she had a bit of time off. She has done this all on one prep.

“Glimmer is going out for a spell now. She is quite a tall filly and I think she now needs a bit of time. She is very easy and agreeable to do anything with, but I don’t think it would be the right thing to carry on.

“We will plan to head towards the spring with her.”

Gibbs, who bred and owns the filly with her partner George Kiihfuss, said Glimmer is a pleasure to have around the stable.

“She is a strange horse because she is so placid that you are not ever quite sure where she is,” Gibbs said. “But she has got beautiful movement and does everything so easily. She eats her food and goes about her daily business. She is a dream to have around.”

The victory was a bittersweet moment for Gibbs, who had to euthanise a sibling of Glimmer’s recently.

“The unfortunate thing about it was that I had to put her sister down last week because she had tumours, so this was a bit of a silver lining to that,” she said.

Gibbs has been training for the last 30 years and said she got the racing bug from her family, who have a long and successful history in racing.

“The great Nukumai, he was my grandfather’s horse who did all those great things in the 1920s,” she said. “They are famous for doing the three days at Trentham, which was the Winter Oaks, The Parliamentary and the Wellington Chase all in one week. He also won the Waverley Gold Cup in 1924 and I have got the Cup.

“My father also bred a lot of good horses, including one called Kalgoorlie. In 1953, the year I was born, Dad went to the yearling sales at Trentham and bought the mare that became Gold Planet, who was a granddaughter of Gold Trail. She was the dam of Kalgoorlie and my father sold him and he went on to win 28 races.”

Gibbs said the best horse she has had anything to do with also hails from the same family.

“The best one was probably one my father bred. He was called Kalm Day and he was by Open Day out of Kalgoorlie’s family. The mother died foaling, so I hand-reared him. He turned out to be a pretty good horse (and won five races).”

While Gibbs enjoys training, she has also inherited her father’s passion for breeding and has enjoyed breeding from Glimmer’s dam, Ananiashvilli, who she purchased as a yearling out of Lyndhurst Farm’s 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft for $5,000.

“My partner and I went to the yearling sales and we had a whole lot of horses we wanted to buy and there was nothing we could afford, everything was too expensive,” Gibbs said.

“Then George said to me ‘Dan Myers has got a horse coming in soon, we will look at that and then we will go home’. It was a Savabeel (filly) out of an Encosta de Lago mare, so I thought it would go for $200,000 and we couldn’t afford that.

“She came into the ring and the bidding started at $1,000 and ended up at $4,000 and we bought her for $5,000 because she had turned out legs. That is how I got a Savabeel in my paddock.”

While Ananiashvilli didn’t make it to the track, she is starting to leave her mark as a broodmare.

“She got injured, so she never raced,” Gibbs said. “The first foal was Kazaderose and she had really good form (placing in four of her 12 starts) but broke down at Hastings. The second foal was a Mongolian Khan (Modernissimo) who has won three in Australia, and the third foal was an absolutely beautiful Redwood, but she broke a hind leg.”

Gibbs hasn’t bred from Ananiashvilli in the last couple of years, but Thursday’s result has ensured she will head back to the breeding barn this spring.

“I made myself a little rule that you can’t keep breeding horses without winning races,” she said. “The mare is only 10, so she will be going back to Staphanos this coming season.”

Gibbs enjoys keeping her numbers low, with Ananiashvilli her only broodmare and Glimmer her only racehorse, and she is excited for the future with both.

“I am a one mare band,” she said. “I just have the one horse in work and a hunter, and I love it.”


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