Leading NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes candidates Avantage and Levante both looked in good order for their Te Aroha assignment when they worked at Matamata on Tuesday morning.

Avantage (Bosson) galloped in company with Aotea Lad (Roustoby) on the plough, where they cut out the last 1000m of solid work in 1:02.6 and 600m in 36.2. Avantage has freshened up well from her last-start second in the Bonecrusher Stakes and is in the right shape to sign off this weekend with her fifth Group One win of the season. It was also good work from Aotea Lad, who runs at Pukekohe on Sunday.

Levante had raceday rider Sam Collett in the saddle when she was paired with fellow Te Aroha entry Limentis (Winter) right-handed on the course proper, where the going was dead 15 metres out. They had pace on from the start of their 1200m hitout, taking 1:16.8 for the full distance and 37 for the final 600m. Levante ran in the same pre-raceday trial as Avantage last Wednesday and likewise is very well.

Bad ‘N’ Bouj (S McKay) pushed her case for a start in the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes when she worked boldly on the No. 1 sand, partnering Sagunto (P McKay) over a solidly run 1000m in 1:02.9 and 35.8. The Jacob McKay-trained mare has made good progress since her impressive Tauranga win.

Back on the course proper, Katie Perrie (J Collett) worked well in company with Qiji Swordsman (S Collett) over 1200m in 1:19.2 and 600m in 37.2. Katie Perrie steps up to a middle-distance in Friday’s Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes. Another Awapuni entry, Germanicus (McCall) worked with Te Aroha runner Sunburst (Fawcett) over 1200m in 1:23.2, quickening for a final 600m in 37.8. Cuba (Fawcett) and Madame le Fay (Burr) also worked over 1200m, cutting out the distance in 1:19.8 and 36.9.

On the plough, Highlighter (C Grylls) and Super Donna (S McKay) caught the eye in a smart 1000m in 1:01.8 and 35.6. Over the same ground Remington (Roustoby) and Bonita Aurelia (Durrant) clocked 1:03 and 36.5, while Tonya (S Collett) and Extortionist (C Cole) took 1:02.8 and 36.1, and Grand Gesture (Pinn) and Bollina (McIntyre) 1:02 and 35.9.

Voler Pour Moi (Yanagida) prepared for the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes with strong solo work over 1200m in 1:17.9, 1:02.4 and 36.3. Also over ground, Kinshasa (C Cole) and Candid Camera (Danis) returned 1:17.6, 1:01.6 and 36.2.

Rocket Fuel (K Singh) was paired with Poser (S Singh) over a well-run 1000m in 1:01.4 and 35.8, in-form pair Bea A Roca (S Weatherley) and Mali Ston (Sid) took 1:03.2 and 36, Bayarmaa (Farr) and Rock Of Cashel (C Cole) 1:03.1 and 36.3, Feelin’ Fancy (T Harris) and Mazzuro (Parma) 1:03.5 and 36.4, Tango Dancer (S Weatherley) 1:05.4 and 38.6, and Just Maybe (Wratten) 1:05 and 37.2.

Others to work over 1000m included Atomic Kitten (C Grylls), who returned 1:07.7 and 38.6, Savastep (Farr) 1:06.2 and 37.6, and Karalino (Turner) 1:11.2 and 39.8. Entriviere (Durrant), who heads to Sydney next week, was let off with an easy 1000m in 1:12.6 and 43, while Hola Senorita (Prendergast) took 1:11.6 and 41.8. Noverre (Bosson) strolled over the last 800m of his work in 59.1 and 43.8.

Dennis Ryan