New Zealand-bred filly Dolphin Skin will be vying to seal a spot in the Gr.1 Victoria Oaks (2500m) at Flemington in November when she heads to the Melbourne track on Saturday.
The daughter of Telperion will contest the Byerley Handicap (1800m), with the winner qualifying for either the Oaks or Derby later this year.
The juvenile filly has shown plenty of ability to date, highlighted by her victory in the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) at Flemington last start, with expat Kiwi apprentice jockey Wiremu Pinn in the saddle.
She will reunite with the exciting hoop this weekend and trainers Leon and Troy Corstens are confident that she will see out the 1800m distance.
“If you look at her pedigree, she is not meant to be a stayer,” Troy Corstens told SEN Track’s Giddy Up with Gareth Hall.
“I said to the other owners, ‘let’s find out, we will run her over 1800m and we will see if she can stay and see if we can try and set her for an Oaks’.
“When she ran first-up down the straight I thought she wants 2000m. I am really looking forward to seeing if she can handle the 1800m on Saturday.
“She does go up a bit in weight, but Billy Pinn gets the claim on her this time, which he didn’t get to do last start. That should be a bit of help to us.”
Bred by Gerry Harvey’s NZ Thoroughbred Holdings Ltd, Dolphin Skin is by former Westbury Stud stallion Telperion and was purchased out of the South Auckland farm’s 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale draft for $13,000.
“She has been pretty good to us,” Corstens said.
“We paid $13,000 for her, she has won a Listed race now and she owes us nothing.
“I do a lot of work with Dean Harvey and we race a lot of horses together. He had gone through all of the breeze-up videos over in New Zealand. We usually trade horses to Hong Kong.
“He put the filly on the list and I rang him and said ‘why is there a filly on this list?’ He said he really liked her breeze.
“The minute she came out I said ‘I don’t care how much she costs, she is coming home’. I just loved her. She was a beautiful filly and by a stallion I had never heard of.
“She just had a nice, fluid action. I don’t really worry too much about times. I am very big on attitude, so that is what we look for.”