IN Racing
Brave Naxos ready for another spirited display
“He’s only a little fellow, but he’s got a big heart and tries hard. We’ve given him a bit of time between runs and he worked super the other morning."
Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | March 14, 2024
Naxos (centre) will contest the Frocked Up Girls 3YO (1200m) at Tauranga on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

The well-related Naxos may lack size but possesses a determined nature that was emphasised when successful at the first time of asking last month at Tauranga.

He will return to the scene of his debut triumph on Saturday for the Frocked Up Girls 3YO (1200m) and is expected to give another good account of himself.

The Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard-trained Naxos will be joined at the northern venue by Mineshaft and Madame Le Fay while the stable will also have black-type contenders Pericles and Reputation in action at Trentham.

A grandson of multiple stakes winner Santagostino, Naxos has progressed well since his opening victory and the Sir Peter Vela-bred and raced son of Harry’s Angel will again be ridden by Billy Jacobson.

“He’s only a little fellow, but he’s got a big heart and tries hard. We’ve given him a bit of time between runs and he worked super the other morning,” Gerard said.

Successful two runs back, Mineshaft will bid to return to winning ways in the Manco Handicap (1600m) off the back of an unplaced effort in the Remutaka Classic (2100m).

“He won over a mile and was second-up at Wellington, so it was quite a big ask,” Gerard said.

“We gave him a freshen-up after that and we just think he’s better ridden back a bit more and can then finish off strongly.”

Jacobson will guide his fortunes and also takes the reins aboard last-start course and distance winner Madame Le Fay in the Super Liquor Greerton (1600m).

“We had to late scratch her from Matamata a couple of weeks ago after a mishap, but she’s good now and likes the track and the mile,” Gerard said.

Meanwhile at Trentham, Gr.2 Life Direct Wellington Guineas (1600m) hope Pericles won the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1200m) two runs back before everything went wrong for him when out of the money in the Gr.3 Mufhasa Stakes (1400m).

“You can put a line through that, I never want to see that race again,” Gerard said.

“He’s a really nice horse with a lot of potential. It’s nearly the end of his season and his first trip away so it’s a bit of a learning curve for him.

“He’s drawn well so we’ll be positive with him and go forward.”

Highly regarded four-year-old Reputation goes into the Gr.3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes (1600m) off the back of a top effort for fifth after a wide passage in the Sir Patrick Hogan Karapiro Classic (1600m).

“It was a huge run last start considering she lost her shoes and was slipping and sliding,” Gerard said. “I really like this mare and think she can go a long way.”

Thatsallshewrote completes the stable’s team at Trentham and looms as an each-way chance in the Harrison’s Flooring Handicap Premier (1600m).

“She has been unlucky in her last couple of starts and doesn’t always help herself,” Gerard said.

“The one draw isn’t ideal for her, she’s a mare that gets back and has to be held up for one run. She’s got a nice low weight (54kg) and is far better than what her form reads.”

Naxos Michael Moroney & Pam Gerard Pericles Gr.2 Life Direct Wellington Guineas Billy Jacobson