Richards delighted with Avantage
Avantage (Orange colours) finishes bravely to snatch third at RandwickPhoto: Bradley Photographers
Matamata trainer Jamie Richards arrived back in New Zealand late on Saturday night with the knowledge his class filly Avantage had done all she could to secure her third placing in Saturday’s Gr.2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick.
Successful in the Gr.3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at her first Australian run, Richards and the team at Te Akau Racing had been keen to find a suitable 1400m contest for the Fastnet Rock three-year-old but settled on the Arrowfield as the next best option for her.
After enjoying a good run in transit, Avantage couldn’t quite match the acceleration at the top of the straight by eventual winner, Classique Legend, but stuck to her task well to close off strongly in the final stages for third.
“We did think she might just need 1400m for her second-up run and I think that showed a little on Saturday as she was off the bridle a fair way from home,” Richards said.
“If we were going to run in The Championships for some decent prizemoney then the Arrowfield was our best option even though it meant staying at 1200m.
“As it turned out she went a top race and we’re extremely proud of her.”
Richards said he was going to take the opportunity to speak with Te Akau boss David Ellis and members of her ownership group at the Te Rapa racemeeting on Sunday to gauge where to next for Avantage.
“It will depend on how she comes through the run but there are a number of options available for her including the Brisbane winter carnival,” Richards said.
Meanwhile Richards will be keeping an eye on the Sydney weather in order to determine whether two-year-filly Probabeel takes her place in the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick next weekend.
“Probabeel has stayed on in Sydney after her game run for fifth in the Sires’ Produce (Gr.1, 1400m) last weekend,” he said.
“She worked very nicely on the Polytrack on Saturday morning, but we won’t be making a decision on starting her in the Champagne Stakes until later in the week.
“It will depend on the weather as she needs a good track, so if she works up well during the week and the forecast is good, she could well take her place, but we won’t know for a few days yet.”