To Catch A Thief completed his preparation for Saturday’s Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas with an impressive piece of solo work at Matamata on Tuesday morning.
Galloping 18 metres out on a soft course proper, To Catch A Thief had raceday rider Craig Grylls up as he strode over 1200m in 1:20.8, quickening as he went for a final 1000m in 1:06.2 and hitting the line well with 600m in 38.8.
The Richardson/Norvall-trained gelding is the country’s highest rated maiden with an incredible string of quality third placings in all but one of his eight starts. The latest of those was in the Gr. 2 Sarten Memorial and he looks in great shape for another big effort in Saturday’s Riccarton classic.
Others to work well on the course proper included Divici Belle (Winter), who prepared for her Te Rapa weekend engagement in company with Mapalicious (Harris) over 1000m in 1:07.9 and 39.5. Divici Belle will appreciate the step up to 1400m on Saturday.
Martell also looked on target for Te Rapa when his trainer Jim Collett took him over 1000m in 1:07.8 and 39.6, while his stablemate So The Fox (J Collett) also worked well over ground, with 1200m in 1:20.4 and 1000m in 1:07.2 Fog prevented any other sectional splits, as with last-start winner Suzuka (Leighton) when he cut out 1000m in 1:06.9.
Most other fast work place on the plough, which was on the damp side after overnight rain. Maven Belle (Parmar) and Aris Aris (Allen) hit out strongly over 1000m in 1:02.4 and 35.9. The Walker/Bergerson-trained pair deadheated in a trial at Te Rapa last week and will continue their rivalry in the Legacy Lodge Sprint back there on Saturday.
Riccarton-bound Mali Ston (D Weatherley) and Tulsi (A Jones) hit out well over 1000m in 1:04.2 and 36.8. Mali Ston runs in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile next Wednesday, while Tulsi is in the Barneswood Farm NZ 1000 Guineas on the final day of Cup Week. Maria Farina (A Jones), another from the Weatherley stable heading south, was allowed an easy workout over 1000m in 1:09.4 and 39.
Harlech (Yuki), another in the Coupland’s Mile, was never at top over 1000m in 1:09.6 and 41.2. Te Rapa entries Accidental Tourist (Kamaruddin) and Rule Of Law (Burdan) caught the eye over 1000m in 1:02.2 and 36, while Inca Belle (Allen) and Francee (Parmar) did well over the same distance in 1:03.6 and 36.4.
Strathtay (Farr) was unextended as he prepared for Te Rapa over 1000m in 1:07.2 and 38. Our Alley Cat (Cox) cut out 1000m in 1:04.4 and 36.8. She has thrived since her impressive Hastings win.
Calling (K Pertab) and Stuff Of Dreams (L Pertab) hit out well over 1000m in 1:04.2 and 37.4, while Fly My Wey (M Brosnan) ran the same distance in 1:08.2 and due to fog was able to be timed only from the 800m in 53.4. Te Rapa entries Giacomo (C Grylls) and Wolfgang (S McKay) ran in from the 800m in 51.8 and 37.6.