A number of horses with feature weekend engagements were in good form as they got through their paces at Matamata this morning.
On the course proper, which was good 23 metres out, Red Striker (M Jones) hit out boldly over 1000m in 1:04.2 and found the line well after a final 600m in 37.4. The Jim Collett-trained mare has trained on pleasingly from her first-up run in the Counties Bowl and will be hard to beat in the Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Race rival Irish Moon (Coleman) went with Barnaby (Yanigeda) on the all-weather track, where they cut out 1000m in dashing style to record 1:00.4 and 35.2 for their final 600m. Irish Moon is another to have taken a lot of benefit from his first-up run, while Barnaby doesn’t need to improve much on his last-start second to play a part in his Rising Stars engagement at Ellerslie.
Abidewithme was ridden by her Captain Cook Stakes jockey Danielle Johnson when she worked on the plough with Echezeaux (Lammas), covering 1000m in 1:05 and quickening for a final 600m in 36.2. Abidewithme has thrived since her Tauranga Stakes win and is primed for a big effort in the Trentham feature. Echezeaux will also run over 1600 metres at Trentham in Rating 75 grade.
Impressive recent maiden graduate Seraphim (Miller) drew attention to her Trentham prospects when she and stablemate Mopsy (Ritchie) cut out 1000m in a brilliant 1:01.6 and 35.2. Zambezi Warrior (McNab) was in good form for Ellerslie when he and Royal Success (Miller) cut out 1000m in 1:03.4 and 36.6.
Lili Miss Waitoki (Danis) and Crackthegoodstuff Murray) also ran smart time over 1000m in 1:02.8 and 36.5, while Melody Belle (Johnson) and Smashing (Lammas) looked the part as they reeled off 800m in 49.8 and 36.1.
Joe Cargo (S Turner) did sound work over ground, with his last 1200m in 1:17.8, 1:05.8 and 37.2, while stablemate Hot In High Heels (S Turner) did similar work in 1:19.5, 1:03.6 and 36.4.
Grazia (Cameron) and Kingsman (McNab) left 1000m behind in 1:06.6 and 36.3. Over the same ground Vanilla Moon (S Weatherley) and Suffire (C Grylls) returned 1:06.1 and 37.2, Splurge (Miller) 1:10.3 and 41, and Star Ella (A Jones) 1:06.6 and 39.8.
Keep On Coming (Coleman) was timed over 800m in 54.8 and 39.5, Over Torque (A Jones) took 55.6 and 40.5, and Xtravagant (Miller) was well held when running his 800m in 1:01.2 and 45.2.
Working over ground, Red Keep (M Jones) took 1:26.2 and 40.5 for his last 1200m, while Maleficent (Fawcett) ran 1:28 and 41.4.
On the course proper Wonder Woman (S Weatherley) and Hurry (Bourke) strode over the last 800m of their work in 51.8 and 38.4. Wonder Woman is a likely runner in the feature three-year-old sprint at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Volpe Veloce (Rastrick) looked bright as she strode over 1200m in 1:26.4, 1:11.5 and 40.3. She is progressing well towards next week’s Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni.
Aotearower (Coleman), who is being aimed at the Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa on Saturday week, did her work on the all-weather track, where she breezed over 1000m in 1:12.2 and 41.6.