Five days out from the new season’s first Group One feature, connections of the three leading Matamata-trained candidates are all satisfied with their Tarzino Trophy prospects.
Graham Richardson, co-trainer of $3 fixed odds favourite Volpe Veloce, reports that the Foxwedge mare has done everything right since her impressive fresh-up win at Te Rapa earlier this month.
“All very good with her,” said Richardson. “She’s been ticking over nicely the past couple of weeks and she should be spot-on for Saturday.
“She’s a very clean-winded horse and doesn’t need a lot of fast work, so she’ll probably have a hitout by herself in the morning. If we think it’s the right thing to do we might take her for bit of a day out at the races here on Wednesday – just for a look and a walk around, that’s all.”
Karyn McQuade couldn’t be happier with the progress Underthemoonlight has made since her win in the Gr. 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa nine days ago.
“It was eight weeks between runs and we expected her to take a lot of improvement out of the race – and she has,” McQuade said. “She felt great in her first piece of work after Te Rapa, so all’s sweet, we’re looking forward to the weekend.”
Underthemoonlight, who is on the third line of betting at $10, relished the heavy conditions in her Foxbridge Plate win, but McQuade remains open-minded about what she will have to contend with on the weekend.
“She doesn’t have to have a slow or heavy track, just so long as there’s some cushion underneath. Mind you, we also know she’ll cope if there’s any rain about whereas it won’t suit some of the opposition.”
Included in that category is Group One-winning mare Perfect Fit, whose co-trainer Ken Kelso is counting on a significant improvement from the track that brought her undone in the Foxbridge Plate.
“There’s no denying, it was a disappointing result, but the ground is all we can put it down to,” Kelso said. “The main thing is she came through it well, we can’t fault her, and Michael (Coleman) was happy with her work here on Saturday morning.
“All we want is a good track, so here’s hoping.”
Hastings course manager Richard Fenwick, who confirmed Dead4 reading after taking his penetrometer readings this morning, is hedging his bets on the forecast for rain on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s blowing here and there’s no sign of the rain they predicted for today,” he said. “What happens leading up to the weekend will all depend on what quarter the wind comes from.
“A south-easterly will mean rain whereas a south-westerly will be safe. It’s always hard to read the weather this time of year, we’ll just have to wait and see.”