Pericles (NZ) Continues Connections’ Golden Run

18 February 2024

Pericles (NZ). Photo: Race Images

An outstanding summer for Karaka-sourced three-year-olds in the tartan colours of owners Hugh Fletcher and Dame Sian Elias kept on rolling in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Skycity Horizon Uncle Remus Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

The sprint feature was impressively won by Pericles (NZ) (Rubick), who was bought by Paul Moroney Bloodstock and Ballymore Stables for $110,000 from the Book 1 draft of Pencarrow Stud at Karaka 2022. His seven-start career has now produced three wins and $88,520 in stakes.

Now the winner of three of his last four starts, Pericles is carrying on a stellar run of form for Fletcher, Elias and Ballymore Stables, who also share in the ownership of the high-class stablemate and fellow Karaka graduate Pendragon (NZ) (U S Navy Flag). That gelding has also won three of his seven starts, headed by the Group Two Auckland Guineas (1400m), and he was a last-start second placegetter in the $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m). Pendragon was also a $110,000 purchase at Karaka, and he has so far banked over $407,000.

Pericles headed into the Uncle Remus Stakes on Saturday as a stylish winner of two of his three previous races, but the step from 1400 down to 1200 metres might have been seen as a negative for the grandson of the mighty Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm).

Any such concerns proved to be unfounded as Pericles and jockey Vinnie Colgan launched a withering finish from midfield to score a convincing half-length victory over Just A Floozie (NZ) (I Am Invincible).

“Dropping back to 1200 metres had me a little worried,” said Pam Gerard, who trains in partnership with Mike Moroney. “This wasn’t quite the right race for him, but it fits in nicely for his next one.

“He has always been a front-runner, but Vinnie was keen to take a sit and it worked out better than we thought it would.

“We’ve said for a long time that he is a very good horse, but it has just taken that little bit longer to get there. I’m super proud for his owners, who have put in so much, and he is loved by the staff at home who have done so much work with him.

“We will see how he pulls up, but we have the Wellington Guineas (Group Two, 1400m) in line for him next. Next year is going to be his year and we just have to stop him going to Australia now (to Moroney’s Flemington stable).”

Pericles is the first foal out of Empyrean (NZ) (O’Reilly), who is an unraced half-sister to four black-type performers. A half-brother to Pericles was offered by Pencarrow during the recent Book 1 session of Karaka 2024. The colt by Ole Kirk was bought by Go Racing Ltd and Blandford Bloodstock for $200,000.

Vendor Pencarrow Stud
Purchaser Paul Moroney Bloodstock/Ballymore Stables NZ (Waikato)
Breeding Rubick – Empyrean
Sale Lot 221, Karaka 2022 Book 1, $110,000
Bred by Pencarrow Thoroughbreds Ltd