Dragon Leap left no doubts he will be at concert pitch for the Vodafone New Zealand Derby when he worked superbly at Matamata this morning.
Galloping solo on the course proper, where the going was dead 20 metres out, Dragon Leap (Yanagida) strode into his work from the 1200m mark to record 1:20.2. He increased momentum for a final 1000m in 1:05.7 and was full of running when he hit the line with a last 600m in 36.1.
By any measure it was exceptional work by the Derby favourite and trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott are well satisfied with his progress since winning the Avondale Guineas.
Stablemate Spring Heat (Yanagida) looked ready for a bold run in Saturday’s King’s Plate when she cut out 1000m in 1:04.2 and 37.4. Race rival Red Chois (Grylls) and Mufhasa Stakes entry Woodcote Lass (Ravi) ran the same trip in 1:06.7 and 37.8.
Two more from the Stephen Autridge team, Karalino (Grylls) and Communique (Ravi), were also in good form ahead of the Sunline Vase with 1200m in 1:21.2, 1:06.6 and 38.6. Pineapple Girl (Coleman) prepared for the Ellerslie fillies’ feature when she and Octave (S McKay) strode over the same ground in 1:20.1, 1:06.2 and 38.8.
King’s Plate runner Short Fuse (Wratten) hit the line well at the end of 1000m in 1:08.3 and 38.8, while Mufhasa Stakes entry Star Of Bombay (Roustoby) and Shezathinka (Kamaruddin) ran the same trip in 1:06 and 37.5.
Sunburst (Coleman) looked bright in solo work over 1200m in 1:22.8, 1:07.2 and 39.6. Paisley Park (Wratten) continued his Auckland Cup preparation with sound work over 1200m in 1:20.8, 1:06.9 and 39.7, while stablemate Tiptronic (Singh) followed in 1:21, 1:06.8 and 39.8. He has trained on well from his Herbie Dyke Stakes win and runs next in the Bonecrusher Stakes on Saturday week.
Incantesimo (Wratten) and En Soie (Singh) covered 1200m in 1:20 and 39.6. Harlech (Coleman) was kept to 1000m in 1:15.3 and 42.2 ahead of a likely Sydney campaign.
On the No. 2 sand Sheezallmine (Miller) caught the eye ahead of the King’s Plate when working with React (Newman) over a slick 1000m in 1:02.8 and 35.2.
Voler Pour Moi (Yanagida), a form runner in the Nathan’s Memorial, completed her work stylishly over 1200m in 1:22.3, 1:07.2 and 37.6. Dalmatinka (Tynan) covered 1000m in 1:08.6 and 39.2, while Burgundy Belle (Roustoby) was timed for her last 600m in 36.3.
On the big sand Ellerslie entry Veine d’Or (Pinn) worked well over 1000m in 1:05.2 and 36.8.