IN Racing
Fresh Impendabelle a threat in Cambridge Breeders’
Impendabelle proved herself at the highest-level last campaign, and the talented filly is poised to strike in a fresh state in Saturday’s Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.
Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | April 25, 2024
Impendabelle will contest the Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa. on Saturday, Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Impendabelle proved herself at the highest-level last campaign, and the talented filly is poised to strike in a fresh state in Saturday’s Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.

The daughter of Impending undoubtedly brings the most outstanding form to the three-year-old feature, having won the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) as a two-year-old, and holding that form this season with a Gr.2 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) crown, and a pair of Group One placings in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Levin Classic (1600m).

A deserved month in the spelling paddock followed the filly’s midfield-finish in the Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) in January, and she will have the services of an in-form Michael McNab when resuming on Saturday.

“She’s looking fantastic after a month in the paddock, she’s been pretty unlucky not to win a Group One this season, but she’s been very consistent,” Pike said.

“I’m very happy with how she’s come back, and she has drawn well (1), although 1200m may be a touch short of her best, from that gate she should be hard to beat.”

With softer tracks looming, the filly’s immediate plans are weather-dependant, however, Pike indicated she may be set for the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) at Arawa Park on May 11.

“A lot will depend on how track conditions hold here, we may go to the Rotorua fillies and mares weight for age race two weeks later, should she run well on Saturday,” he said.

Talented four-year-old Rudyard will be one of several runners returning for round two of the Gr.3 Manco Easter Handicap (1600m) after the Ellerslie meeting was called off prior to the feature event last Saturday.

The Charm Spirit gelding has been near-perfect through this season, with nine top-four finishes from as many starts, including four wins and a third placing in the Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic (1600m) to Group One winners Desert Lightning and Legarto.

“It’s a bit of a shame with the Easter being called off last week, but his work on Tuesday was very pleasing and he’s continued to hold his condition and form well right through this preparation,” Pike said.

“It’s a bit of a tricky barrier (12) but I’ll leave that up to Sam (Weatherley, jockey), this horse has been very consistent all season and it would be great to see him go out with a good win to end his campaign.”

Rudyard had posted victories at both two and three-year-old level, however, similar to his Group One-performing dam Lady Kipling, the gelding has gone to another level at four.

“He’s always shown the ability but has probably just been mentally quite immature as a young horse and did a lot wrong,” Pike said.

“This season, he’s become a furnished racehorse and very professional, and has just needed the time to put it all together.”

Pike will also be represented in the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) by Val Di Zoldo, a previous winner at Group Two level in a Lowland Stakes (2100m) who had little luck in the closing stages of the Gr.3 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2100m) last-start when fourth.

“Her run at Wellington was very good, she was just held up for the entire length of the straight and only got out late, but closed very well considering the trip she had,” Pike said.

“She can go forward in her races and is pretty versatile, she’s a filly at 2000m that can put herself in the race from a wide gate (10) if need be. She’s been very consistent and deserves her chance in a good race on Saturday.”

With three trials under her belt, well-related juvenile Thooza will debut in the Cambridge Raceway 2YO (1200m), and Pike said the granddaughter of superstar mare Seachange would be one to follow into her three-year-old spring campaign.

“She’s a nice filly, she’s probably going to be a better three-year-old, but she was impressive in her trial at Counties,” he said.

“It would be nice to get a couple of runs into her as a two-year-old, she’s drawn awkwardly (10) which is never ideal, but the race-day experience will do her the world of good. She’s a promising filly going forward.”

Overdrawn (Maneline Cambridge 1400), Slipper Island (Decise Control & Electrical 1300) and Roederer (Cambridge Equine Hospital 2400) complete Pike’s strong team of runners at Te Rapa, and the Cambridge horseman holds the latter in high regard as a future staying prospect.

“He (Roederer) had no luck in his last start at Ellerslie last Saturday, he was shuffled back in a slowly-run race and finished off really well through the line,” he said.

“He’s a horse we’ve always had a lot of time for as a progressive stayer going forward, and I think he’ll be hard to beat on Saturday.

“We just decided to put Slipper Island back up to 75 grade as he’s been competitive in that grade before, just to get the pull in the weights. He’s another that has drawn wide on Saturday, but he can bounce and put himself in the race. He should be very competitive again.

“Overdrawn is a horse that wants a good surface and has just been tripped up by two soft tracks. Hopefully he’ll get that on Saturday, the forecast looks reasonably good.

“It’ll probably be the last run of his preparation, but back on a better surface he should be competitive.”

Elsewhere throughout the weekend, Poetic Justice presents as a strong hope for Pike in the maiden three-year-old 1200m event at Matamata on Friday, while Ardrossan gelding Cannon Hill will venture further south to Wanganui to contest the Commdives NZ 3YO 1340 on Saturday.

“Poetic Justice is a nice horse but has probably been a bit immature all the way through his early three-year-old season,” Pike said.

“He’s come back really nicely after a break, 1200m might be to be a little bit sharp for him, but from the good draw he won’t be far off the speed and should be hard to beat. He’s one to follow further into his four-year-old season.

“Cannon Hill is a promising three-year-old, we decided to head to Wanganui as that was a nice open age group race for him. It’s a long way to go, but he should be pretty hard to beat.”

Tony Pike Impendabelle Rudyard Val Di Zoldo