New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes candidates Perfect Fit, Rasa Lila and Mary Quant managed the heavy conditions well at Matamata this morning as they prepared for Saturday’s Te Aroha feature.
Galloping 15 metres out on the course proper, Perfect Fit (Coleman) and Aotearower (Davidson) had pace on throughout 1200m, cutting out the distance in 1:18.5 with the last 1000m in 1:05 and 600m in 38.2.
According to her regular rider Michael Coleman, Perfect Fit handled the heavy ground well. The Ken and Bev Kelso-trained mare has made pleasing progress since her Westbury Classic win, her preparation including a smart exhibition gallop between races at Matamata last Wednesday. Aotearower, who also didn’t appear to be troubled by the heavy ground, may be entered for Friday’s Awapuni meeting.
Last-start Cuddle Stakes winner Rasa Lila was ridden by co-trainer Julia Ritchie in company with her maiden stablemate Stage Diving (Ramsay) and hit the line full of running after 1200m in 1:19.5, 1:04.3 and 38.5. She too has gone on the right way in preparation for Saturday’s Group One assignment.
Mary Quant (D Weatherley) had pace on throughout her 1000-metre hitout, stopping the clock at 1:03 and 37.6. Even allowing that she worked early in the session, it was smart work by the O’Reilly mare who might sneak into the Breeders’ Stakes field off her 83 rating.
Te Aroha candidates Attention Seeker (Grylls) and Persuasive (Hepi) caught the eye in their work over 1000m in 1:06.5 and 37.8, while open 1400 entry Snapshot (Rastrick) enjoyed his hitout over 1200m in 1:19.8, 1:05.4 and 38.4.
Japan/NZ Trophy winner Watch This Space (Cole) prepared for a possible Te Aroha start when paired with Zee Zee Top (Danis) over 1000m in 1:06.8 and 39.2. Apache Fireworks (M Brosnan) appeared to have freshened up well from her bold Auckland Cup run when she strode over 1200m in 1:23.6, 1:09.3 and 40.6.
De Chine (Tynan) and Tiara Concerto (Sapsworth) got through 1200m in 1:21.4, 1:07.4 and 39.9. De Chine has a South Island campaign coming up in quest of some black-type form.
Gentil Tonton (Coleman) hinted at a bold fresh-up run at Pukekohe on Sunday when he strode through the ground over 1000m in 1:08.9 and 39.6. Two more starters at the renovated Counties track, Light Up A Screen (J Collett) and Wimbledon (Newman), did well over 1000m in 1:05.3 and 38.2.
Jubilate (Sapsworth) and Precision Miss (Tynan) covered the last 1200m of their work in 1:19.4, 1:06.5 and 38.2, while stablemates Contessa Belle (Grylls) and Four Degrees (Rastrick) were keen in the early stages of their gallop over 1200m in 1:19.9, 1:06.6 and 40.
On the sand Labels (Danis) took time honours over 1000m in a dashing 1:02 and 36.5. She may run at Te Aroha on the weekend.
Over the same ground Pukekohe candidates Rock Me (Cole) and Ya Think (Danis) hit out freely in 1:05.2 and 39.4, while Underthemoonlight (K McQuade) worked soundly to record 1:06.2 and 37.6.
Cathedral Cove (Miller), who runs at Rotorua on Friday, and Pukekohe entry Zambezi Warrior (Ritchie) covered 1200m in 1:20, with their last 600m in 37.1. Stablemate Highly Likely (Hanafi) left the same distance behind in 1:20.4 and 38.6, while Ballychine (D Weatherley) recorded 1:23.4 and 39.
Rotorua candidates Queen Of Heights (D Weatherley) and Divine Duke (Coleman) were restricted to separate three-quarter-pace hitouts over 1000m, recording 1:15.4 and 45.6 and 1:14.5 and 44.8.
Mary Kate (N Waddell) and Explosive Octane (A Jones) were paired over 1000m in 1:12.8 and 42.2.