Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
“I thought it was never going to happen — the number of times going back home with a hard luck story,” said Mandurah butcher Ian Foley after his promising mare Misstiano had broken through for an overdue win at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Misstiano’s strong-finishing effort to beat the pacemaker and $1.40 favourite Alice Kay in the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace gave the 59-year-old Foley his first win at Gloucester Park for almost 14 years.
“This is my first city winner since Ruby Dazzler won the WA Oaks in May 2008,” said the hobby trainer who has two pacers in work at Pinjarra — Misstiano and Dame Valour, a Sweet Lou filly who was successful at her only start to date, at Northam in late November.
Misstiano, a $7.60 chance from the inside of the back line, was driven by Chris Lewis, who enjoyed the perfect trail behind the pacemaking Alice Kay before getting off the pegs 220m from home and finishing determinedly to beat Alice Kay by almost a length at a 1.56.5 rate.
The five-year-old Misstiano, owned by Foley and several members of his family, has had a stop-start career and was making her 14TH appearance at Gloucester Park in Friday night’s race which was restricted to mares. She now has had 28 starts for eight wins (including three at Pinjarra and two at both Northam and Bunbury) and ten placings for stakes of $63,262.
After Misstiano had finished strongly to win the $14,000 King Lethbridge Stakes at Pinjarra last April there were fears that the mare might not be able to continue racing.
She then suffered a serious eye injury, a virus which threatened to end her career. “She spent seven weeks with the vet., who managed to save the eye,” said Foley. “I then decided to give her a good spell and this was her third start in her current campaign.
“I think she is capable of measuring up to the better mares.”
Misstiano is by former star pacer Alta Christiano and is the second foal out of the Live Or Die chestnut mare My Killarney Miss, who had 99 starts for eight wins, 27 placings and $64,465. The New Zealand-bred My Killarney Miss ended her career with 22 starts in Western Australia for two wins for Nathan Turvey — at her first two starts in the State, in October 2012.