Pinot Exits Oaks in Good Nick


Pinot | Bronwen Healy

By Heather Anderson

American-based Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners was in an understandably jubiliant mood Friday morning regarding G1 Kennedy Oaks heroine Pinot (Aus) (Pierro {Aus}).

“We arrived Wednesday morning, went to the race on Thursday and I’m in the lounge waiting to board back to LA as we speak,” said Wellman. “It’s been a bit of whirlwind for sure. It’s all good though. It’s a very special, special experience.”

“Having gotten to know Gai in the last few years and seeing how special it was for her, allowed the moment to really sink in quite a bit,” he said. “It was really just an extraordinary experience to achieve the feat, and then to do it with such an iconic legend like Gai, such a magnificent personality like Gai who really is considered the ‘First Lady of Australian Racing’, it’s really beyond words to be honest with you.”

Wellman also provided a buoyant update on Pinot, who is headed for a spell.

“I just got a call from Gai on my way over to the airport and she, as only she can say, [said], ‘Pinot pulled up a treat and she licked the bowl,'” he laughed. “All those are Australian for she pulled up wonderful and is in good nick. That’s exciting and  she’ll get a little rest for about a month. Then we’ll start mapping out the rest of her campaign.”

Despite only being involved with a single horse in Australia, Wellman is keen to have Eclipse continue its Australian expansion and readily acknowledges the role Pinot has played towards that goal.

“I think our program initially was purely to dip our toe into the shallow end of the water,” he said. “We really didn’t intend to buy a horse to be honest with you when I went down to Inglis the year before last, but this filly was too good to be true. And thankfully she proved too good to be true.”

“Obviously she’s paved the way now for us to get more serious about our Australian expansion and the program itself,” he said.  “Our concept was, just like anything else, to establish a track record down here–and that’s hard to do with just one horse–to think that she’s able to carry the flag in such glorious fashion, with just one bullet in our holster is unfathomable really,” said Wellman. “We’ve got a couple partners in this filly that are American-based but, they were the only two who were willing to take the plunge. Hopefully this success and this experience will pave the way for more expansion into the Australia market.”

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