IN Racing
Big Walker contingent for Cambridge Breeders’
Mark Walker has well and truly announced his arrival and he's set to further make his presence felt.
NZ Racing Desk | April 29, 2022
Cote De Beaune. Photo: Trish Dunell

With two Group One wins in the four weeks since he has returned to the New Zealand trainers' ranks, Mark Walker has well and truly announced his arrival and he's set to further make his presence felt with five runners in Saturday's Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.

Walker will produce Cote De Beaune, Synchronize, Shepherd's Delight, Wairau Cove and Ragamuffin in the three-year-old sprint confident he has the firepower to be competitive.

"It's the last three-year-old black-type race that suits a lot of them," Walker said.

"We've got a nice team of horses going to the race." 

TAB bookmakers have Cote De Beaune as a $2.50 favourite for the race ahead of Bonny Lass at $5.50 with Wairau Cove at $13, Ragamuffin at $18 and Synchronize and Shepherd's Delight at $21.

A winner of three of his four starts, including a last-start win on the track, Cote De Beaune will again be ridden by the stable's retained rider Opie Bosson.

"Cote De Beaune's in terrific form. Bonny Lass is probably the one to beat but he's going well," Walker said.

"He won nicely last start and from a reasonable draw, he's probably our main chance on form."

Walker was pleased with his other four runners too and especially excited to see Synchronize tested in stakes company again.

"Synchronize is coming back from injury but she's one we've got a fair bit of time for. Her trial at Matamata the other day against the Group horses was really good," he said.

"She's got a lovely pedigree so we're having a throw at the stumps and we'll see what happens. They normally fly along in front in this race and while she'll get back, if she can get some sort of luck in running, she's definitely a chance.  

"Shepherd's Delight has come through her last run well. It's just been about keeping her fresh for this one. She probably needs 1400m but we've kept her fresh and she deserves her chance. She probably just needed a bit of rain to be competitive at 1200m. She's honest, she's Group One-placed in the 1000 Guineas and she'll give it her best shot.

"Ragamuffin is going well and deserves his chance as well. It's a shame about the draw. It's going to make it tough for him. Wairau Cove is down in the ratings but he deserves his chance. From the good draw, he's a sneaky chance. We can see him running a good race."

Walker's other runners at the meeting are Summer Monsoon, two-year-olds Lord Cosmos and Shanghai Tang, Challa, Aromatic, Highborn and Navalha.

Meanwhile, the trio of Sword Of State, Entriviere and Suprano Supreme left for Brisbane on Friday morning, with the first pair set to race at the Gold Coast on Saturday week.

Sword Of State will tackle the Gr.3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m), while Soprano Supreme will be entered for the Gold Coast Cup (2400m).

Entriviere will kick of her campaign in the Gr.1 $A1 million Doomben 10,000 (1200m) on May 14.

"They left early this morning and they had all trotted up well before going," Walker said on Friday.

"Sword Of State will need a good track. It was wet there last week so we've just got to hope for a good week coming up. Suprano Supreme could be the big improver. The way she's been winning, there's more in store for her. It's a bit of a punt going there but I think she can step up.

"It's not going to be easy for Entriviere because every race we've mapped out for her is a Group One and they don't give them away in Australia. But she's in good form and we're happy with all of them."

Mark Walker Cote De Beaune Synchronize Shepherd's Delight Wairau Cove Ragamuffin Bonny Lass Opie Bosson Lord Cosmos Shanghai Tang Challa Aromatic Highborn Navalha Summer Monsoon Sword Of State Soprano Supreme Entriviere