The New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing mob remember one of Shaky Isles’ greats.
Memories of one of New Zealand’s finest racemares are being revived by a filly that was unwanted in the sale ring.
The promising 3YO Lil Mer (Shinzig) was passed in when part of the Eliza Park’s draft to Karaka in 2011 and she was subsequently leased by clients of Stacey Dougan’s Opaki stable.
Out of a half-sister to the Listed Tauranga Classic winner Ascot Isle, Lil Mer is a direct female descendant of the former champion filly and NZ Horse of the Year La Mer.
She won 24 races from the stable of the late Malcolm Smith, including the New Zealand Stakes, New Zealand Oaks and the Manawatu Sires’ Produce stakes at Group One level.
The daughter of Copenhagen didn’t make the same impact at stud following her sale to Irish interests, although she did leave six winners with one at Listed level.
Her claim to European fame came as the third dam of the 2011 G1 Prix de l’Opera winner Nahrain, who added the G1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes in the United States to her record last year.
La Mer now similarly appears in Lil Mer’s pedigree and Dougan is looking ahead with confidence with the daughter of Shinzig, who followed up a Hastings maiden victory with a Rating 65 success at Trentham on Saturday.
“She’s tough and likes to get her own way,” she said. “She may have one more run or we’ll put her in the paddock for a couple of weeks and look to the spring racing.”
She prepares Lil Mer for the St Elmo Syndicate, who also raced the Listed Australian stakes winner Enjin Number Nine and Smackdown, a debut winner for Dougan last year before adding two more wins in Victoria. –NZ Racing Desk