YEAR: 1952


Mr P McCarthy, Swallow & P G O'Reilly

Swallow, 12th favourite in a field of 13, nosed Qualified out of the decision in the last stride of the NZ Oaks after one of the finest possible contests. From the top of the straight the race between Fairlead, Loyal Mary and Qualified, with Swallow coming into the picture half-way down the running, was a thrilling one.

Qualified had Loyal Mary's measure just inside the furlong, but she was being hard driven to hold off Tasha, on the outer. No sooner had Qualified shaken off Tasha, than Swallow came through strongly on the inside of Qualified and the pair passed the post in line. The photo showed Swallow winning by the barest of margins. Tasha was the unlucky runner. She was in a tangle more than once and this cost her several lengths: she was back in eighth place with a mile to go.

Petite Louise broke badly at the start, and Tui Scott, Lady Supreme and Heritage lost ground. Swallow was first out and then dropped in behind Fairlead, who made all the pace to the home turn. Loyal Mary raced up to Fairlead at the end of half a mile and followed her into the straight. They were closely attended at that stage by Swallow, who delayed her final run until about 100 yards from the post.

Swallow is a bay filly by Colossal, a Jack Potts horse who has sired several winners in Southland. Swallow is out of Zeitha Hall, an unraced Dillon Hall mare from Jessie Martin, by Wellington Direct from an unnamed Rothschild mare from Topsy, dam of the NZ Cup winner in Winsoon. The Rothschild-Topsy mare was the top-priced filly at a Stevenson and McMath sale at Gore many years ago. Topsy founded a great line at the Stevenson and McMath stud. Of the 50 winners that can be traced to her, many have taken fast records as stayers. Zeitha Hall, with Swallow as a foal at foot, was sold at a dispersal sale at Wyndham in March, 1950, by the breeder, Mr A M Hunter, to Mr P McCarthy, Ashburton, for 80gns.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 10Dec52

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