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Dual Wexford attack for Rotorua Stakes

Wexford Stables will have a mix of experience and emerging talent contesting Saturday’s Listed Rotorua ITM Stakes (1400m) with Karman Line and I’munstoppable.

One of three fillies entered in the feature, I’munstoppable was an impressive winner of the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa a fortnight ago, earning herself a place against the older horses at Arawa Park.

“We were so pleased with her performance at Te Rapa, she really relaxed well and kicked well,” said co-trainer Andrew Scott, who trains in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan.

“We are looking for something similar here, but we may look to ride her a wee bit more conservatively over that trip.

“She’s had a good fortnight, the 1400m is a bit of a query, but she’s in good form and deserves the chance in a strong field.”

Among the mare’s contingent is Karman Line, a Listed placegetter as a three-year-old who has only improved with age according to Scott.

“Two starts ago she was in a Group One, and she was doing her best work at the line. She just got rolled in the last hop at Te Rapa and is certainly racing well at the seven furlongs (1400m).

“We think she’s in career-best form at the moment and going as well as she can be.

“Karman Line has been an incredibly slow-maturing mare, and we think she’s only just hitting her straps now, and has her best racing in front of her at six.

“She’s sound, and we’ve only seen her now holding her weight well and campaign well, where in other preparations she wouldn’t hold her condition at all.”

A daughter of Charm Spirit, I’munstoppable has drawn six, while Karman Line will jump from barrier 10, a draw held by both of Wexford’s former winners in Sleeping Beauty (2019) and Fascination Street (2015).

“There looks to be a good bit of speed in the race and she (Karman Line) should be hitting the line strong. We certainly think she’s up to black-type level, and it would be wonderful if she could secure some this weekend,” Scott said.

“She’s a strong finisher and that’s the best way to ride her, if anything last-start she may have just got there a fraction soon. She’s a good chaser, so we’ll let her find her rhythm and hopefully she can put in a strong performance.”

The Matamata trainers have also engaged talented three-year-old Geriatrix for the Van Dyks 3YO 1400, which could be a stepping stone towards a trip to Queensland, where the stable has Molly Bloom and Tomodachi already located, with the former tackling the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

“His last two runs have been in Group company, he missed the start in the Wellington Guineas (Gr.2, 1400m) and got wide, and then his sectionals and performance was very good in the Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m),” Scott said.

“He’s back out to 1400m, got a nice gate (4), and we think the ground should be pretty solid on the weekend which will suit him.

“He’s going well and if he can run to the level of his last two starts, he’ll be well competitive. This colt is holding up to a long preparation very well.

“If he was to run well on the weekend, we would certainly look at taking him over. There’s a couple of good three-year-old races that are a possibility for him.”

Scott has earmarked the Gr.3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) and the Gr.3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) as possible ventures, held at Eagle Farm on the 1st and 15th of June respectively.

Completing the Wexford runners at Rotorua are Winexpress in the Donna Fleming Memorial (1215) and Watergate in The Rotorua Club 1400, both to be partnered by Masa Hashizume.

“Winexpress is fitter for the fresh-up run and gone the right way since, we think he’s improved and he’s a horse that will have a good winter. A win is very close, and we’re liking his chances,” Scott said.

“We’ve certainly given Watergate some time and she’s appreciated that. Her trial last week was encouraging and we think she’ll sprint well fresh.

“She’s a mare that has been slow-maturing but is in for a good preparation. It wouldn’t surprise us if she filled a placing at long odds.”

-Article by NZ Racing Desk


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