A trio of Stephen Autridge-trained New Zealand Oaks candidates looked the part when they got through their main gallops at Matamata on Tuesday morning, where most work took place 20 metres out on the dead course proper.
Sunline Vase winner Communique had raceday rider Craig Grylls in the saddle when she worked solo over ground, timed from the 1200m in 1:22.5 with the last 1000m in 1:08.3 and 600m in 37.2. The Redwood filly has trained on well since her impressive Ellerslie win.
Race rivals Karalino (Ravi) and Nothing Compares (Kareem) galloped against the rail in the four-metre position, where they were well matched over 1200m in 1:21.7, 1:07.2 and 36.6. Karalino also appears to have come through her Sunline Vase second in good order, while Nothing Compares looks none the worse for her below-par Lowland Stakes performance.
Pineapple Girl (Coleman) looked comfortable on the easier ground as she prepared for the Oaks in company with Te Aroha Friday entry Hosel Rocket (S McKay) over 1200m in 1:21.6, 1:07.2 and 38.9.
A strong Te Akau contingent for Trentham looked ominous as they got through their main preparatory gallops at Matamata on Tuesday morning, Wellington Guineas entry Lilikoi had raceday jockey Danielle Johnson in the saddle when she worked solo over 1000m in 1:05.5 and 600m in 37. Lilikoi last raced when second in the Royal Stakes on New Year’s Day and is in forward condition for Saturday’s 1400-metre feature with the benefit of a recent trial placing.
Rivals Star Of Bombay (Roustoby) and Exaltation (Kamaruddin) also impressed in similar work, cutting out 1000m in 1:06 and 38.1. Mufhasa Stakes winner Star Of Bombay is at the top of her form, while Melody Belle’s unbeaten half-sister Exaltation will be an interesting runner in her first black-type test.
Jamie Richards’ New Zealand St Leger duo Te Akau Caliburn (D Johnson) and Swing Note (Kozaki) were paired in solid work over ground and timed from the 1200m in 1:18.5, 1:04 and 38. Te Akau Caliburn appeared to appreciate the easier ground.
Polly Grey (Fawcett) looked improved from her recent fresh-up run when she shaded Arraignment (Coleman) at the end of 1000m in 1:05.6 and 39. She runs in the open 1400 at Tauranga on Saturday. Over the same ground The Helix (C Cole) and Aromatic (A Jones) recorded 1:06.8 and 37.8, while Griffin (Burdan) and Luminous (McNab) took 1:07.2 and 37.4, Doha (Coleman) and a Coats Choice gelding (Fawcett) 1:09.7 and 38.6., Sweet Molly Malone (Farr) and True Falls (C Cole) and Two Madison (Yoto) 1:07.2 and 40.
You’re Welcome (McNab) and Vicenza (D Johnson) strode over 1200m in 1:19.4, 1:05 and 38.4. Munster (S Collett) and Son Of Sasanof (R Jones) worked over 800m against the rail in 50.4 and 37.2. Munster runs at Tauranga, while his stablemate is a starter the day before at Te Aroha.
On the big sand Imelda Mary (Kozaki) and Kainui Rose (Danis) prepared for Tauranga with 1200m in 1:17.8, 1:03.9 and 37.4. Stablemate Hakuna Matata (Danis) did her work ahead of Tauranga on the No. 2 sand with 1200m in 1:21, 1:06.6 and 38.9. Te Aroha entry En Soie (Wratten) was timed over 1000m in 1:04.2 and 38.