Fascination Street looked ready to defend her Rotorua Stakes crown when she got through smart work at Matamata this morning.
Galloping 18 metres out on a dead course proper with raceday jockey Michael Coleman in the saddle, Fascination Street worked away steadily from the 1200m mark to run that distance in 1:23.1. She picked up the tempo to cover the last 1000m in 1:07.6 and hit the line impressively with a final 600m section in 37.6.
The O’Sullivan-Scott-trained mare bounced back to form at her last start and has a lot in her favour to suggest she can repeat last year’s win in the Rotorua fillies and mares’ feature.
Race rival Queens Rose (Tynan) did her work on the plough, where she looked very comfortable striding over 1200m in 1:23.7, with the 1000m in 1:07.6 and 600m in 37.8. A forecast for rain will bring Queens Rose right into the reckoning this weekend.
Back on the course proper, Rotorua Cup hopeful Gentil Tonton (D Weatherley) looked bright in his work over 1200m in 1:23, 1:07.2 and 38. He has trained on well form his last-start win and could be a dangerous lightweight should he make the field for Saturday’s main event.
New Plymouth entries What We Do (Danis) and Clovelly Park (Lanigan) were paired in a solid gallop over 1000m in 1:05.4 and 37.4. Clovelly Park, a four-race winner in Hong Kong when known as Deep Thinker, is back with his original trainer Gary Hennessy.
Rising Son (C Grylls) and Makarios (Coleman) prepared for Rotorua by striding over 1200m in 1:23.4 and quickening for a final 1000m in 1:05.8 and 600m in 37.5.
On the plough Tatters (Coleman) and Shillelagh (Lammas) were in good form over 1000m in 1:02.8 and 600m in 36.5. Tatters will return to Rotorua on Saturday, where she was a winner last month, while Shillelagh, the winner of three of her four starts, is ready for a bold fresh-up run at New Plymouth.
Under The Moonlight (K McQuade) looked sharp for Rotorua when cutting out 1000m in 1:00.6 and 600m in 35.8. In a similar assignment Whatz Occurring (Cole) and Labels (Danis) clocked 1:02.2 and 35.6.
Others to show up over 1000m included Galaxy Miss (C Grylls) in 1:04 and 36.2, I’m Bronson (K Jones) 1:04.3 and 37.6, Link Road (C Grylls) and Parisian Jewel (K Price) 1:03.8 and 36.8, and Kinda Leica (H McQuade) 1:04.7 and 37.8.
New Plymouth candidates Chambord (Leveque) and Vinevale (Lammas) ran time over 1200m in 1:15.5, 1:01.3 and 36.6. Sombreuil (N Waddell) and Peach Bellini (Coleman) prepared for Rotorua with solid work over the same ground in 1:17.8, 1:02.6 and 36.8.
Others to work over 1200m included Kakahu Nell (M Brosnan) in 1:22.4, 1:06.2 and 39.4, Highly Likely (Miller) 1:24.8, 1:08.2 and 40, and Shimmy (Graciano) 1:24.4, 1:07.5 and 39.8.
Keep On Coming (C Grylls) and Save The Stars (D Weatherley) were paired over 800m in 49.4 and 36.2, and Tavis Star (K Jones) and Zip Zap (Miller) returned 55.3 and 39.4.
Talita (M Brosnan) left 1000m behind in 1:04.2 and 38, while those that could not be fully timed due to fog included impressive last-start winner Alakazam (Coleman), who hit the line well at the end of 1000m in 1:10.2.
On the all-weather track last-start winner Caterina (Gillies) travelled up well over 1000m in 1:06.8 and 600m in 39.2.