Horses with important engagements at Saturday’s Karaka Million meeting were the centre of attention at Matamata this morning.
Karaka Million favourite Avantage and rival The Real Beel were ridden by their respective raceday jockeys Opie Bosson and Danielle Johnson in smart work on the plough, which still provided good footing despite overnight showers. The Te Akau pair cut out 1000m in 1:03.8 and travelled strongly to the end of the gallop with a final 600m in 35.8.
Stablemates Sword Of Osman (McNab) and Al Hasa (Bosson) worked in pleasing style as well with 1000m in 1:04 and 35.5, while the fifth of the Autridge/Richards two-year-old contingent, Pinot Grey (Lammas), was paired with Mongolian Khan Trophy favourite Melody Belle (Bosson) over a smart 1000m in 1:03.8 and 35.8.
Wexford Stables’ Karaka Million candidate Nirvana In Fire (Yanagida) worked every bit as well as he reeled off 1000m in company with Amazing Banker (S Weatherley), clocking 1:01.7 and 35.2.
Imelda Mary (Coleman) prepared for the Karaka Million on the all-weather track when paired with Westbury Classic entry Livin’ On A Prayer (Lammas). They were well held over 1000m in 1:07 and travelled to the line strongly with a final 600m in 37.4.
Scorched (Bayliss), who like Imelda Mary is expected to make the Karaka Million field, went with Tenacious (Pavi) over 1000m on the course proper, where the going was dead 12 metres out. They ran the distance in 1:09.6 and the final 600m in 38.4. Ballymore Stables’ other two Karaka Million runners, She’s A Thief and Bocce, were due to have their final serious hitout on Wednesday morning.
Back on the plough, Karaka Million 3YO Classic favourite Embellish (Bosson) went with Tavis Star (Newman) over a solid 1200m, recording 1:15.9, 1:01 and 35.9 for the final section. Charles Road (S Weatherley) also caught the eye as he worked solo over ground in preparation for the City Of Auckland Cup. He was timed from the 1200m in 1:17.4, 1:04.1 and 36.8.
On the course proper Wildflower (Bayliss) was paired with Four Degrees (Handley) over ground, completing the last 1200m in 1:17, 1:03.2 and 37.8. Wildflower runs in the City Of Auckland Cup, while her stablemate is an entry for Pukekohe on Friday.
Mahalo (Coleman) and Short Fuse (Hashazumi), respective entries for the Concorde Handicap and Mongolian Khan Trophy at Ellerslie, impressed with their work over 1000m in 1:05.1 and 36.8. Divine Love (Bayliss) prepared for the Mongolian Khan Trophy with Link Road (S Weatherley) over a smart 1000m in 1:03.2 and 36.8.
Iffraajinator (A Jones) and Anevay (Tynan) cut out 1000m in 1:03.6 and 37.5, while He’s No Saint (Tynan) wasn’t extended over the last 1200m of his work in 1:23, 1:08.2 and 39.8.
On the plough Princess Kereru (Coleman) and Our Abbadean (Bosson) looked in good order for the weekend when running 1000m in 1:03.6 and 36.
Te Teko Monday entry Katie Perry (J Collett) went with The Matrix (Abel) over 1200m in 1:17.6, 1:02.2 and 36.2. Vanilla Moon (Bayliss) prepared for Pukekohe over the same ground in 1:21.4, 1:05.6 and 37.8, while two others heading in the same direction, Imperium (McNab) and Swing Note (Bosson), covered 1000m in 1:05 and 37.3.
She’s Ice Cold (Boyack) was timed from the 1200m in 1:21.8, 1:07.2 and 39.8, Normandy (Handley) and Lewis Road (Hashazumi) left 1000m behind in 1:04.4 and 37.2., Divine Duke (S Weatherley) took 1:08.7 and 39.8, Star Ella (Cole) 1:10.2 and 42, and Elegant d’Oro (Miller) 1:10.3 and 40.8.
On the all-weather track Bit Lippy (S Weatherley), who runs on Saturday week in the two-year-old stakes race at New Plymouth, ran a comfortable 1000m in 1:06.6 and 37. Over the same distance Barcelo (S McKay) and Wild Child (Wratten) returned 1:06.2 and 37.5.