News In Brief

NZ Racing Desk
26 May 2023

Esta La Roca chasing stakes win

With three Stakes placings on her CV, Lloyd Kennewell is hoping Esta La Roca can go out on a high in Saturday's Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1000m) at Sandown.

The seven-time winning daughter of El Roca and earner of A$450,000 is yet to snare a win in Stakes company but will kick-off her final preparation as the 59-kilogram topweight this weekend.

"I don't want to stuff around too much with her, she's meant to be going to Extreme Choice so I want to try and get an early cover," Kennnewell said of her future.

"She's obviously a valuable broodmare and we want to get her in foal as he's one of the hottest stallions around."

A two-time winner and three-time placegetter when fresh, Esta la Roca has also only been beaten once at Sandown and has jumped out well ahead of her return.

"She trialed up really good the other day, she ran second to Coolangatta and obviously Coolangatta is a super mare that's off to the world stage, so we were really happy to trial up behind her," Kennewell said.

"We are at the pointy end, there is no hiding for her, so she'll be ready to go first-up.

"The weight is probably the negative and she's run in Stakes races where she's been well weighted with 54.5 and 55 kilograms."

Regal Lion gains Lord Mayor’s Cup start

After two positive trial performances four-year-old gelding Regal Lion is set to return to the races on Saturday in the Gr. 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1800m) at Eagle Farm.

The son of Jakkalberry has won once since joining the stable of Annabel Neasham in mid 2022, having initially been prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, for whom he was placed in a Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).

As first emergency, Regal Lion will gain a start on Saturday after stablemate Bartholomeu Dias was scratched.

“His last gallop was very good. The horse we partnered him up with didn’t even reach him so I’m very happy with him,” Neasham said.

“He’s ready to go and I look forward to seeing him back at the races.”

Regal Lion has raced exclusively in stakes company since winning at Sandown late last year and has been around the mark, placing in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) last campaign.

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