Auckland Cup candidates Charles Road, Araldo Junior and Wildflower underlined their fitness for Saturday’s staying feature when they worked at Matamata this morning.
Charles Road (S Weatherley) galloped early in the session before fog arrived to spoil timing and in solo work on the plough impressed as he cut out his last 1200m in 1:18, the final 1000m in 1:04 and finished off with 600m in 36.7. Charles Road, who will be ridden by Jake Bayliss on the weekend, looks fit and well.
Wildflower (Handley) also worked on the plough, where she was paired with fellow Ellerslie entry Incantesimo (T Johnson) over ground, but could be timed only over 1200m, which took 1:17.9. Wildflower has not raced since finishing second in the Herbie Dyke Stakes on February 11 but she has been kept well up to the mark.
Araldo Junior had raceday rider Michael Coleman in the saddle when he worked on the course proper, where the going was dead in the 15-metre position. The former Australian stayer bowled into his work to complete the last 1200m in 1:21.8 and 1000m in 1:05.2, and while a 600m split was not possible, he impressed as he hit the line full of running.
Stablemates Bocce and Sound Works also worked on the course proper in preparation for Ellerslie. Sistema Stakes entry Bocce (Bayliss) was travelling strongly when he emerged from the fog, indicating he took no harm from his recent unplaced performance when he stumbled soon after the start. Sound Works (Bayliss) ran a solid 1000m in 1:04.9.
Likely Sistema Stakes favourite Avantage (Bosson) worked on the plough, where she was paired with race rival The Real Beel (Shafiq) over 1000m in 1:05.5 and 800m in 50.5. Sword Of Osman (Bosson) was well held in his work, leaving 1000m behind in 1:07.8 and 600m in 37.5.
Opie Bosson has been confirmed to ride Sword Of Osman in Saturday’s big two-year-old race due to that horse’s 56.5kg being easier to attain than the 54.kg for Avantage, who will be ridden by Matt Cameron.
Our Abbadean (Newman) and Scrutinize (Bosson) worked well together over 1200m in 1:17.6 and 1000m in 1:03.5. Our Abbadean will run this weekend at Trentham and her stablemate at Ellerslie. Roll The Gold (Fawcett) was timed over 1000m in 1:05.2, while Wonder Woman (Grob) was well held over the same ground in 1:10.4.
Bizzwinkle (Dowling) continued his preparation for next week’s New Zealand St Leger with striding work over 1200m in 1:31.2, and Cote D’Or (D Weatherley) did similar work to record 1:15.2 for 1000m.
On the all-weather track Watch This Space (Danis) and Livin’ On A Prayer (Roff) cut out 1000m in 1:05.5. Livin’ On A Prayer runs at Ellerslie on the weekend and her stablemate at Tauranga later in the month.