A number of New Zealand Oaks candidates got through their work well at Matamata this morning in preparation for Saturday’s Trentham classic.
On the plough, second favourite Imelda Mary was ridden by regular jockey Cameron Lammas in company with stablemate Livin On A Prayer (Danis), covering their last 1200m in 1:17.9, 1000m in 1:02.6 and finishing off strongly over the final 600m in 36.3.
The Wayne Hillis-trained filly is primed for a big effort in the Oaks, while Livin On A Prayer will accompany her south for the Cuddle Stakes.
The Jamie Richards-trained Oaks pair Savy Yong Blonk (McNab) and Shezathinka (A Jones) were well matched over a solid 1200m in 1:17.5, cutting out the last 1000m in 1:10.8 and 600m in a smart 35.8.
Kinshasa (S Collett) and Te Akau Dragon (McNab) also worked over ground, completing their last 1200m in 1:18.5, 1:03.2 and 37. Although one of the lesser Oaks fancies, the Cody Cole-trained Kinshasa looks very well.
Pinmedown (Bayliss) did her work eight metres out on the dead course proper, building momentum to cover 1200m in 1:17.2. Fog prevented any sectional timing, but the last-start Sunline Vase winner was strong over the final stages of her gallop.
Stablemate She’s A Thief (Bayliss) prepared for the Wellington Guineas in company with Tauranga weekend candidate Sasanof’s Hero (R Jones). They had plenty of pace on throughout 1200m, running the distance in 1:14.8, the last 1000m in 1:00.2 and 600m in a brilliant 34.6.
Back on the plough, in-form sprinter Princess Kereru (Lammas) was paired with Trentham two-year-old candidate Equinox (Miller) over 1000m in 1:05.8 and 600m in 37. Princess Kereru runs in the Lightning Handicap at Trentham, as does Yearn (S McKay), who cut out a solo 1000m in 1:06.8 and 38.2.
Lightning Handicap lightweight Sasso Corbaro (Miller) was another not chasing the clock as she rolled over 1000m in 1:09 and 39.8. Swiss Maid (Hashizume) and En Soie (Handley) prepared for Te Aroha on Friday with 1200m in 1:19.4, 1:03.9 and 37.8. Over the same distance Press My Buttons (Bayliss) returned 1:24.2, 1:09.3 and 40.5, while Tommyra (R Cole) took 1:23.4, 1:08.3 and 39.2.
Temple Tiger (McCall) and Roll The Gold (Fawcett) covered 1000m well in 1:04.6 and 36.2, Golden Age (Miller) and Military Step (McNab) took 1:05.2 and 36.8, Witchery (A Jones) and Lord High Spirit (Hutchings) 1:04.3 and 37.8, Ocean Go (Danis) 1:09 and 40.2, Dublin Rose (A Jones) and Al Haram (Hutchings) 1:07.2 and 37.4, and Princess Rhianna (Grylls) 1:09.2 and 39.8.
Supera (Donoghue) continued her preparation towards the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes with a well held 1000m in 1:08.4 and 38.8.
On the all-weather track Wellington Guineas entry Cavallo Veloce (Lammas) went with Iron Eagle (P McKay) over 1000m in 1:04.8 and 36.9, while Watch This Space (Danis) covered the same ground in 1:03.4, with fog preventing any sectional time.