Balcatherine Sparkles, First-Up

“She will be right in it for the big races for mares this summer,” declared champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr after driving the lightly-raced Balcatherine to an effortless first-up victory in the $22,000 Download The TABtouch App Today Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The four-year-old New Zealand-bred Balcatherine was a warm favourite at $1.90 for her first appearance for five months and she gave her supporters little cause for concern as she set a fast pace before romping away to win by four lengths from $41 chance Suzies Gem, rating a slick 1.55.1 over 2130m after final quarters of 27.6sec. and 27.7sec.

“I was pretty excited when she dashed away and kept going,” said Hall. “I was a bit worried when she got keen. Wainui Creek came up to her (in the first lap) and eyeballed her and was in front of her for a bit, and that fired Balcatherine up a bit.

“She has always been a good mare and I have no doubt she’s up to all of them. At home, she has shown she is probably a bit better than Fake News, who was racing superbly before breaking down recently.

“Apart from being a good frontrunner, Balcatherine is pretty good off a sit, as well.”

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr will be setting Balcatherine for the $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic on November 13 and the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic on November 27. Balcatherine, unbeaten at two appearances in New Zealand, now has raced just 14 times for seven wins, four placings and $83,652.