It was an early race-to-race double for the Moloney Racing team at Ballarat on Wednesday with 3-year-old Nation State winning at his second start, and Stormbourg saluting on debut in the 2-year-old Maiden Handicap.
Nation State, who placed third on debut over 1100 metres at Sale back in June, was terrific in his first-up assignment this campaign. Ridden beautifully by Teo Nugent, the All Too Hard gelding settled down outside the leader over the 1000 metre dash, and showed a nice turn-of-foot in the final furlong to get his neck in front on the line.
It was a promising win for the connections of Nation State, with John stating that the gelding has plenty of improvement still to come, and we can’t wait to see how far he goes this preparation!
Stormbourg, ridden by Carleen Hefel, couldn’t have been more impressive at his debut. Beginning from barrier one over the 1000 metres, the gelding son of Strasbourg had a dream run in the box seat and never went around a horse, getting a run up on the rails in the straight to win by a margin of half-a-length.
The win was made even more special for Stormbourg’s connections, having raced his mother, Graceful Storm, with John, to now come full circle to race her son in the same colours with success. It was also a delightful win for the team at Rosemont Stud, with first-season sire Strasbourg notching his first winner.
For a kid-like character at home, it was pleasing to see Stormbourg get the job done in such strong fashion, and we hope to see him continue his winning form with race experience.
Congratulations to the connections off Nation State and Stormbourg, as well as the hard working team at Moloney Racing!