Te Akau Racing’s three winners from the weekend could all be competing in feature events at the Auckland Thoroughbred Racing meetings over the Christmas-New Year period.
Impressive three-year-old Wild Night is likely to contest the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe on Boxing Day, while the unbeaten two-year-old Trobriand will seek his third consecutive victory in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.
Trobriand could be joined at Te Rapa by Prismatic, who broke his maiden status in the only race to be completed at Awapuni on Saturday prior to the meeting being abandoned.
Prismatic holds a nomination for the Dunstan Feeds Stayers’ Championship Final (2400m) on January 1, but his current rating of 62 following his 2200m maiden victory has him 48th on the entry list.
“We’re running him next in the Rating 65 2400m at Te Rapa this Saturday,” Walker said.
“We’d like to start him in the Dunstan final but he’d probably have to win on Saturday to get a start in that race. But he’s a promising staying type who’s getting better with racing.”
Trobriand was a short-priced favourite in the 1100m juvenile event at Te Rapa following his easy debut victory at New Plymouth in October but was made to work hard on Saturday, getting up in the final strides to beat the Moroney-Gerard stable’s debutant Shoes.
“I thought it was a really nice effort, and it will be the Eclipse Stakes next for him,” Walker said of the $260,000 Book 1 purchase from the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, who comes from the family of Xtravagant and He’s Remarkable.
The Eclipse Stakes on New Year’s Day will be Trobriand’s final warm-up for the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) on January 21. He is third on the order of entry for the Karaka Million and the leading horse on the list from Te Akau Racing, which has won the last six editions of the race, but Walker said it was too early to say he would be their leading prospect.
“There’s a lot that can happen in the next six weeks before the race, so we’ll see what happens in that time,” Walker said.
Wild Night made it five wins from six starts when winning a three-year-old race over 1200m, coming from well back in the field under topweight to hold off his opponents.
It was his first run since winning the Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) in late October and Walker was delighted with the effort.
“It was a great run and he’ll be better for the run,” Walker said.
“He will head to the Uncle Remus Stakes on Boxing Day and from there we are aiming him at the Karaka Million 3YO Classic. It looks like it will be a strong field but he’s an exciting horse.”
Meanwhile, Walker’s three-year-old filly Family Ties will have another go at the Gr.3 Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) this Saturday after the race was moved from Awapuni to Te Rapa following Saturday’s abandonment.
“It was unfortunate what happened down there, but she’s come back well and we’ll be back for the rescheduled race this weekend,” Walker said.
“She’s a promising staying filly who will be aimed at the rest of the fillies staying races this season.”
Walker will also be sending horses south this weekend for the two group races at Trentham. Brando will line up in the Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m), while last-start Wanganui Cup winner La Flora Belle and recent Rating 75 winner Soprano Supreme are headed for the Gr.3 Humphries Construction Manawatu Cup (2300m).
“It’s hard to assess their chances with the fields not out just yet but they are all doing well,” he said.