We top and tailed the weekend with wins at Rotorua and Hastings from promising three-year-old fillies Mia’s Choice and Dixie Express and filled the middle with a Group 1 placing and Premier Day 2nd.
Mia’s Choice broke through for her maiden victory with ease over 1200 metres at Rotorua, kicking away for a decisive victory of nearly two lengths. The win came at just her 2nd start after she ran 2nd on debut as a two-year-old. By champion sire O’Reilly out of a Zabeel mare, she is bred to go further than 1200 metres and will likely have her next start at Avondale on the 22nd of November in a Rating 65 1400 metres worth $30,000. This will be a lead-up for her into the $70,000 Group 3 Eulogy Stakes over 1600 metres at Manawatu on the 13th of December.
On Saturday Charlestown ran a strong finishing 2nd over 1100 metres at Canterbury in the scintilating time of 1.03.11. He got well back in the field from his outside draw, but sprinted hard to run 2nd, beaten just half a length. The 1100 metres was a little short for him and he was a touch underdone, so it will set him up well for the last day of the New Zealand Cup meeting, the 15th of November where he will run in a Rating 75 1200 metres worth $40,000.
Prince Mambo added to his illustrious career with another Group 1 placing in the Two Thousand Guineas, following his 2nd in the Group 1 Sires Produce as a two-year-old. Already a stakes winner of the Matamata Slipper he has been looking for the mile of Saturdays race and was unlucky not to be 2nd. He slipped at start and stumbled badly, losing ground and was then forced wide on the track when checked by inside runners. This forced him to race further back than we wanted and wide covering a lot of extra ground. He finished strongly for 2nd and was prepared masterfully for the race by Stephen McKee. He will now go to the paddock for two weeks and then return to the stable to be prepared for the New Zealand Derby.
The weekend had a succesful conclusion with the smart Dixie Express winning over 1400 metres at Hastings at just her 3rd start. She worked hard early and was dominant on the line, showing how much she had learned from her first two starts. She is a half-sister to Down The Road who ran 2nd in the Derby and she will be set for the New Zealand Oaks. She may run in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes at Otaki next start on the 28th of November, but we won’t make a decision on this for another week.