News In Brief
Swinging Skirts Photo: Race Images
Wexford have faith in 3YO
Wexford Stables believe three-year-old colt Autumn Flash is up to tackling Group One company and will have his first test at that level when he lines-up in the Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.
The lightly raced son of Snitzel has won one of his four starts and his connections are hoping he has taken improvement out of his last-start fourth placing over 1200m at Matamata last month.
“He was a little disappointing last time, we are just hoping he can bounce back to his previous form,” said Andrew Scott, who trains in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan. “When he won his maiden he looked quite good going.
“We know it’s a bit of a quantum leap stepping up to a Group One race, but they are only three once and we’ve got a strong belief that he is a promising horse.
“We’ll try and take advantage of the small field and hopefully he can be competitive.”
Outsider gets up at Matamata
The Margaret Falconer-trained Swinging Skirts caused an upset at Matamata when she took out the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m) on Wednesday.
It was the third win for the six-year-old mare and Falconer believes a step back from weekend company and the addition of blinkers assisted her runner.
“It’s obviously a bit of a drop back from Saturday races with her and Lynsey (Satherley, jockey) put her into the race, so it worked out well,” Falconer said.
“She has got a good 600m sprint when she can get close enough to them and the blinkers probably sharpened her up a bit too.
“Hopefully she can go on with it now, although she is now in-foal so she hasn’t got too long now.”
Beauty Generation enters new territory for Purton
Connections of reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation were glowing in their praise of the New Zealand-bred gelding after his barrier trial on Tuesday.
The Road to Rock gelding is being set for the Gr.1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin on January 20 after winning his fourth Group One in the Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m) last month.
“He just seems to be getting better,” jockey Zac Purton said. “It’s getting into scary territory now, how good he’s starting to become.
“He strode out really well and worked up to the line under his own steam. He had a nice little blow out and pulled up really well. He’s a happy horse at the moment.
“It’s like he’s got stronger and got a lot more confidence. He seems to do it with ease and he enjoys doing it.”