Heavy fog put a dampener on proceedings at Matamata as a number of leading candidates for feature events at Te Rapa on Saturday were put through their paces.
Amongst the handful of gallops that were able to be partially timed, Waikato Guineas entry Dragon Leap (Yanagida) looked the part when he partnered Te Akau Caliburn (Bosson) in strong work on the plough. The New Zealand Derby favourite had the measure of his companion after being timed from the 1200m in 1:17.2 and finishing the work full of running.
BCD Sprint rivals Te Akau Shark and Avantage had their respective raceday jockeys Opie Bosson and Troy Harris on board when sent 1000m. No time could be taken, but they looked well matched as they emerged from the fog and hit the line strongly. “Just nice, everything’s good with them,” was trainer Jamie Richards’ succinct comment.
Herbie Dyke Stakes candidate Tiptronic (T Thornton) was another to complete his work pleasingly as he and Rosa Fiore (Wratten) went over ground, timed for their last 1200m in 1:20.2. In similar work Za Za Gabor (Yanagida) and Iridessa (Lammas) recorded 1:21.8.
On the course proper BCD Spring entry Volpe Veloce (Wratten) hit out boldly in solo work, while defending Herbie Dyke Stakes title-holder On The Rocks (Lammas) went with recent Ballymore Matamata arrival Pineapple Girl (Coleman) in strong work over ground.
Pineapple Girl has been sent over by Mike Moroney to contest three-year-old filly features, beginning with the David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic at Te Rapa on the weekend. The Olympic Glory filly was a winner over ground at her most recent of three starts in Victoria and the manner in which she finished her work this morning showed that she has settled in well to her new surroundings.
Others to work on the course proper included Sunburst (Coleman) and Wild West (S Collett) who were paired over ground.
On the big sand BCD Sprint rivals The Mitigator (P McKay) and Watch This Space (Danis) were joined by Amarula (S McKay) over 1000m. Thorndon Mile winner The Mitigator and Watch This Space, a close seventh in the same race, have freshened up well from their Trentham trip.