The respective distances of the feature age group events at Wanganui on Saturday made it an easy call for trainer Allan Sharrock to split his pair of gifted fillies.
He looks to have strong prospects of a black-type double with his only representatives on the card with Sophmaze to take on the colts and geldings in the Listed HS Dyke Guineas (1340m) and Librarsi runs against her own sex in the Listed The O’Leary’s Fillies’ Classic (1200m).
“It’s just the way they are both racing and it will give us two shots and I’m pretty confident Sophmaze will get the 1340m,” Sharrock said.
“Librarsi stays in the fillies’ grade and it’s also a Listed event worth the same money.”
Sophmaze enjoyed a lucrative juvenile campaign with two wins, including success in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m), and three placings from her five appearances.
The flagship daughter of stallion Derryn overcame a slow start to finish runner-up in the Listed Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa in her final two-year-old outing to give Sharrock confidence that she will handle a rise in distance.
Lisa Allpress rode Sophmaze in all her starts last season and will continue her association on Saturday.
“I don’t think the 1340m will be any boundary for her. We will just ride her a bit cold early on and she’ll finish off strongly,” Sharrock said.
Sophmaze was a touch ordinary on the track earlier this week before dispelling any concerns the next time she stretched her legs.
“I wasn’t disappointed, but she was a bit lax in her work on Tuesday. We breezed her up this morning and she worked very, very well so I think she has to be the hardest to beat in the Guineas,” Sharrock said.
Librarsi didn’t waste any time showing her talent last season with a debut victory at Otaki where she raced on the pace and lengthened stride impressively for a dominant display.
She then finished a meritorious sixth in the Ryder Stakes after enduring a tough run from the outside barrier and Sharrock has no concern about the underfoot conditions for Librarsi on Saturday.
“The track will be no issue and she won on an off track first-up and she only got beaten 2.6 lengths in the Ryder at Te Rapa, so second-up it was a good run,” he said.
“The draw didn’t help and she was a sitting duck a fair way out and, all in all, I’m pretty happy with her.”
Craig Grylls has been aboard in both runs and he will again take the reins at Wanganui where the filly will be sporting a new look.
“I’ve put blinkers on her on Saturday and looking at her work this morning she is going to take a bit of beating, she went super,” Sharrock said.
While Librarsi is sharp enough to be ultra-competitive over 1200m in the Fillies’ Classic, she is expected to make her future mark over more ground.
“I think the Eulogy Stakes (Gr.3, 1600m) will be a nice race for her, she will get a mile being by Reliable Man,” Sharrock said.
“I just want to tick off getting some black type with her and hopefully she can do that on Saturday.”