Two-year-olds with feature race engagements on their home track this weekend were the centre of attention during a busy training session at Matamata this morning.
Galloping against the rail on a dead course proper, Summer Passage (C Grylls) was impressive as he and Miss Foxy Gal (Coleman) cut out 1000m in 1:02, with their final 600m in a smart 35.2.
It was especially good work by Summer Passage, whose clash with highly regarded Cambridge colt Aim Smart in Saturday’s Reid & Harrison Slipper is keenly anticipated. Miss Foxy Gal, who had to undergo a barrier trial after being late scratched recently, is one of three Wexford Stables entries the Gr. 2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.
The other two, Princess Rihanna (C Grylls) and Nothin’ On Me (McNab), also got through their work in style with 1000m in 1:02.6 and 35.5. Princess Rihanna was an unlucky fourth in the Karaka Million, while Nothin’ On Me appears to have bounced back well from a below-par effort several weeks ago.
Early Breeders’ Stakes favourite Gold Fever (Bosson) underlined her readiness when she and Slipper entry Summer Monsoon (McNab) were paired over a smart 1000m in 1:02.4 and 600m in 35.6. Gold Fever has made pleasing progress since her recent strong win at Te Rapa, while her stablemate has cleaned up well with a trial two weeks ago.
All other course proper gallops took place 22 metres out, where form runners Irish Moon (S Weatherley) and Princess Kereru (Coleman) looked the part over 1000m in 1:04.7 and 37.5. Irish Moon runs in Saturday’s open sprint and Princess Kereru in the three-year-old 1400.
Smashing (Lammas) drew attention to her open sprint prospects when she led Unfazed (Bosson) at the end of 1000m in 1:06.8 and 38.4. Aotearower (Wratten) impressed in solo work over 1200m in 1:18.2, 1:04.6 and 38.2, while Strada Cavallo (Rastrick) completed her work strongly over 1000m in 1:08.6 and 38.8.
Hushed (Bosson) and Our Abbadean (McNab) strode over 1:20.6, 1:04.8 and 39. Slow tracks kept them at home last weekend and they will now run in the Kaimai Stakes. Race rival Gentil Tonton (C Grylls) completed long work with 1200m in 1:24.8, 1:09.2 and 38.4, while Piazza (S Weatherley) followed in a sound 1:24.5, 1:09 and 38.2.
Impressive last-start winner Ocean Emperor (Bourke) and Temple Tiger (Danis) were timed over their last 800m in 51 and 37.5. Babe (Gorham) and Secret Stash (Tynan) prepared for the weekend with 1000m in 1:06.6 and a respectable final section in 37.37.3.
Southern visitor Signify (A Jones), who will be entered for Saturday’s open sprint, looked bright when running in from the 800m in 57.2 and 40.4. Rival Red Striker (S Collett) cut out her final 600m in 37.4.
Pure Lorde (Gorham) was paired with Breeders’ Stakes entry Short Fuse (Tynan) over 1000m in 1:05.5 and 37, while Star Ella (A Jones) left 1200m behind in 1:19.9, 1:05.6 and 38.2. Hot In High Heels (S Turner) kept up an even rate over the same distance in 1:17.8, 1:04.2 and 39.
Lucky’s Revenge (P McKay) and Orange Shore (S McKay) were timed over 1000m in 1:08.6 and 38.6. Mr Selfridge (R Jones) and Sharp Proposition (Hepi) had pace on throughout 1000m in 1:04.5 and 37.9.
Makarios (D Weatherley) and Ali Baba (Coleman) cut out 1200m in 1:19.5, 1:05.9 and 38.5. Promising two-year-olds Swing Note (Lammas) and Cousteau (Bosson) were sent over 1000m in 1:06.8 and 38.4.
On the all-weather track Nothing Trivial (Coleman), Watch This Space (Lammas) and Dezignator (Danis) were matched over a brisk 1000m in 1:01.2 and 36.2.