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Flight Stakes aim for Taupo entrant

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Exciting filly Santa Catarina could earn herself a trip to Sydney with a bold fresh-up run at Taupo on Wednesday.

The Lib Petagna-bred and raced daughter of Savabeel resumes in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1100m) for three-year-old fillies, a race that could thrust her into Gr.1 Flight Stakes (1600m) calculations at the upcoming Everest Carnival in Sydney.

Santa Catarina had three starts last season, winning twice up to Listed level in the Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa in May, and she resumed with a bold trial second placing alongside Stella Noire and Gift Of Power at Te Teko earlier this month.

"She's doing great. She's strengthened up and she looks better than she did last preparation," Marsh said.

"I thought her trial was outstanding and while the nine-day backup from that trial isn't ideal, we were in search of better conditions and this race looks suitable.

"It's a good field though. There's good depth to that race and it should give us a good line on where she's at. She's still a fair way from being screwed right down and there's a Group Two winner [Xpression] up against us, but I can't fault our girl."

Should Santa Catarina race up to expectations, she is likely to head straight to Sydney, with the Gr.2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 15 her leadup to the Flight Stakes at the same track two weeks later.

The Marsh-trained and Petagna-raced Sofia Rosa finished sixth in the Tea Rose and seventh in the Flight Stakes in 2015 before returning to win the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie, the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Hastings and Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in her next preparation. - NZ Racing Desk

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