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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Friendly rivalry at many yearling sales in New Zealand eventually developed into a partnership between prominent Baldivis veterinary surgeon Trevor Lindsay and Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who celebrated a group 3 triumph when Purest Silk scored an impressive victory in the $30,000 Allwood Stud Farm Laurie Kennedy Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Lindsay and Howlett combined forces for the first time at the 2016 New Zealand yearling sale at Karaka when they purchased Purest Silk, a regally bred filly by American sire Rocknroll Hanover.

“I used to go to New Zealand yearling sales regularly, and so did Barry,” said Lindsay. “ On a number of occasions Barry laughingly would blow me out of the water, and he loved it and would take the Micky out of me, saying I’ve run you up there.

“I went to the 2016 sale with a list of ten or twelve fillies I was interested in buying. I asked Barry if he had any of them on his list, and he said ‘no, no, no’ until he said there’s one there I want. And I said that this filly was my number one choice.

“So, I proposed a deal that we should go halves, and he agreed. We got her for $52,000 and then gave her to Brent Mangos to train and drive.”

Mangos gave Purest Silk eleven starts for a win as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park and two placings. He predicted that Purest Silk would develop into a smart performer.

Purest Silk then came to Western Australia and was prepared by Howlett, who won nine races with her before she was transferred to Dylan Egerton-Green’s Banjup stables late last year.

Friday night’s win boosted Purest Silk’s record to 46 starts for 13 wins, nine placings and earnings of $152,500. It was her twelfth win from 35 WA starts, and her second win from nine starts for Egerton-Green, who admitted he was in the right place at the right time to be given the opportunity to train the mare.

“It was at a meeting at Pinjarra when Barry and I were discussing her future, and we agreed that she would benefit from change of environment,” said Lindsay. “Dylan happened to be standing nearby and he said ‘pick me.’”

Purest Silk, an $8.50 chance, started off the 20m mark and settled down in sixth place on the pegs as the frontmarker and $3.10 favourite Our Shooting Star was setting the pace.

Egerton-Green eased Purest Silk off the pegs 1100m from home and the mare quickly improved to be in the breeze. Driven vigorously by Egerton-Green, Purest Silk got to the front with 90m to travel, and she won by 2m from $5 third fancy and lone 30m backmarker Vivere Damore, who trailed Purest Silk throughout and finished determinedly. The final quarters were run in 28.1sec. and 28.6sec.

“This was probably her career-best run,” said Egerton-Green. “I saw no need to apply pressure on the leader and I was quite happy to try to outsprint the ones behind us.”

Purest Silk is the second foal out of the Christian Cullen mare Veste, who earned $106,023 from three wins and one placing from eleven starts before being retired to the breeding barn. The highlight of her career was her victory in the group 1 Caduceus Club Classic at Alexandra Park in March 2011.

Veste also is the dame of Yorkshire (55 starts for 16 wins, 13 placings and $183,728) and Its All About Faith, who won the group 1 Sires Stakes final for three-year-olds at Addington in November 2020 and has a record of 26 starts for eight wins, ten placings and stakes of $230,408.