News In Brief
Top filly building toward 3YO season
Melody Belle is back in work with trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards ahead of another Group One campaign.
Last season’s Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes and Karaka Million winner enjoyed a good break after her Queensland campaign that netted a victory in the Gr.2 Queensland Sires’ Produce Stakes.
“She had an eight-week spell after returning from Brisbane and has now just finished three weeks pre training on the walker,” Fortuna Syndications director John Galvin said.
“Jamie and Steve will now get her ready for a trial later in the spring and race plans at this stage are to have her resuming over 1200 metres in early December, then into the Sistema Railway at Ellerslie on New Year’s day before tackling the Karaka 3YO Classic at the end of January.”
Well-bred colt to trial
The well-related Raposa Rapida will trial on his home track on Thursday ahead of a return to the races.
The brother to the Group winner Volpe Veloce made one appearance as a two-year-old last season for a fourth placing at Te Awamutu.
“He’s coming up well, he’s a lovely horse,” Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh said. “We’ll have a look around for a suitable race after he’s trialled.”
Gold Trail still on programme
John Morell remains focussed on the Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes on September 23 with Florence Jean, despite a hiccup to the filly’s programme.
The Te Rapa owner-trainer was forced to bypass the opening day of the Hastings carnival after the three-year-old was laid low by a virus.
“We’re working her along quietly,” Morell said. “She’s eating again now and feeling livelier so we’ll go down for the Gold Trail, she usually races well fresh.
“I’m hoping she can get up to 1400 metres and a mile later. She relaxes so I think she will run on alright.”
Florence Jean’s only defeat in three starts came in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes when she was checked at the start and made late ground for sixth.
Black type mare looking good
Group performer Promise To Reign is making steady progress toward a new campaign.
“She’s not far from trialling, I’m very happy with her and the way she is looking,” co-trainer Moira Murdoch said.
While Promise To Reign has won only once from 16 starts, the mare has Group placings in the Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic, the Sunline Vase and the Trentham Stakes to her credit.