The Michael Moroney-trained mare Nerve Not Verve scored her biggest success to date when landing the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) on Day One of The Championships at Royal Randwick.
Ridden by Regan Bayliss, the six-year-old daughter of Shocking sat handy to a sedate tempo set by Knights Order and shortly after straightening the pair cleared out from their rivals with Nerve Not Verve going to the post a short neck in front. Luncies was a further 3¼ lengths away in third.
A winner at Moonee Valley two starts back, Nerve Not Verve finished a good second in the Gr.3 Epona Stakes (1900m) a fortnight ago.
However, three-starts back a poor performance by the former Kiwi at Moonee Valley had connections questioning whether to persist with the now seven-time winner.
“We were going to go the Launceston Cup and she went terribly one day at Moonee Valley and come close to retirement actually,” Moroney said.
“I thought she was just badly in season that day and then she came out and won her next start. The noms for the Sydney Cup were closed about then, she’s due to be sold in the broodmare sale but they might keep going another year again now.
“She’s a really good staying mare. I’ve always been a believer that she would stay, even though some of the jockeys told me that they didn’t think she would. I think the combination of her learning to relax a little bit more in this sort of ground (Heavy) she’s obviously adept in it. She’s done a great job.
“We’ve got a little to think about now whether we head to Queensland or what we do with her. She’s deep into her preparation but with mares like that they can stay in form and she’s done a really good job.
“She gave us signs during the week her work was up to the best she’s ever worked, I just couldn’t fault her. I knew she was hard and fit and probably the first trip I’ve had her 100%.”
A half-sister to Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Glory Days, Nerve Not Verve is the 19th stakes winner by Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking and is out of the placed Montjeu mare Bilancia.
Nerve Not Verve was purchased as a yearling by bloodstock agent Bruce Perry out of Curraghmore’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock draft for $60,000.
She started her career out of Moroney’s Matamata barn where she was a winner over 2100m and placed on a further three occasions under the eye of training partner Pam Gerard.
Originally raced by a syndicate headed by Lib Petagna, Nerve Not Verve has sported the colours of prominent businessman Richard Pegum since August last year. – NZ Racing Desk