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NZ Racing Desk: Briefs

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Mile target next for Volpe Veloce

Volpe Veloce will head south later this month to contest the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki after her luckless fourth-placing in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Graham Richardson and Gavin Parker-trained mare ran home late from the back of the pack to pick up her minor placing and her connections were pleased with their charge’s efforts.

"She just got way too far back and had a bad draw," Richardson said. "From last to run as close as she did was a massive effort. She needs a mile now."

That mile test will come in the form of the Haunui Classic and Richardson said she has pulled up well after Saturday’s race, despite the tough run.

"She certainly ate well and she was stretching out well this morning," he said. "It doesn’t seem to have knocked her around as much as I thought it might, because it was a hard run. "All going well, that is where we will go, the Haunui Classic.

"I then really want to work back from the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes in April at Te Aroha. That is the perfect race for her."

Wekaforce primed for resumption

Promising three-year-old filly Wekaforce will make her raceday return in the Superfence 1200 at Ellerslie on Saturday after impressing in her trial at Cambridge on Tuesday.

The daughter of Showcasing, who hasn’t been seen since her unplaced run in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) in November, won her 935m Open Catchweight heat by a length and trainer Tony Pike thinks the stakes performer will appreciate the step back to 1200m on Saturday.

"She was very gallant in the Guineas, at a distance that was just a touch too far for her," he said.

"She has trialled up super today. Back to the 1200m on Saturday really suits, so she is going to be extremely competitive."

Wekaforce will be joined in Saturday’s race by stablemate Lismore Diamond. The three-year-old daughter of O’Reilly won her last start over 1200m at Hastings and Pike believes she will be competitive on Saturday.

"Lismore Diamond is coming off a midweek maiden win and she did that nicely," he said. "She’s a progressive mare. She’s a lot stronger this preparation and while they are a step up in company, she will be hitting the line strongly late."

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