Eurell thrilled as Falika finds By Damien Donohue,
Progressive mare Falika came back to a rousing reception from a massive group of excited owners last Friday night, while the quaver in trainer Greg Eurell’s voice indicated this was a very special victory. The emerging stayer had just won the $80,000 Pinker Pinker Plate (2025m), the fillies-and-mares feature named after Eurell’s ill-fated 2011 Cox Plate winner. Falika ($3.40 favourite) was Eurell’s first runner in the race, her win the culmination of months of planning. The daughter of American stallion Faltaat recovered after stumbling out of the gates and found the line strongly for Damien Oliver, who never panicked. Adaptable and comfortable on all surfaces, the bay mare has now raced 13 times for five wins and four placings and $140,425. Falika is raced on lease from New Zealand’s Westbury Stud, source also of city-class Eurell-trained mares Ardelle and Miles of Krishan. The in-form Eurell was understandably chuffed with last Friday’s result. “She looked in trouble at the start, but credit to her and Damien (Oliver) for getting the job done,” he said. “She’s a very honest mare, doing a great job.” Eurell is delighted that the Cranbourne Turf Club honours Pinker Pinker each year. “She gave us lots of good memories. It’s a very special moment for me.” Falika will now target a fillies-and-mares handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley next Friday night (October 27), then perhaps the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington (November 11).