IN Racing
It’s Business Time builds towards black-type goal
The Gr.3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) is looming large on the horizon for exciting mare It’s Business Time, who will step out as a $1.85 favourite for Saturday’s Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Trial (1400m) at Riccarton.
Richard Edmunds, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | October 27, 2023
Photo: Race Images South

The Gr.3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) is looming large on the horizon for exciting mare It’s Business Time, who will step out as a $1.85 favourite for Saturday’s Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Trial (1400m) at Riccarton.

Racing in the colours of her breeder Windsor Park Stud, the daughter of Turn Me Loose has made a big impression winning five of her eight starts to date.

She has started her five-year-old season on a spectacular note, lining up in two 1200m sprints at Riccarton and winning by three lengths and four and a half lengths respectively.

“She’s sort of surprised us a little bit,” said Sam Bergerson, who trains in partnership with Mark Walker.

“We thought 1200m might be a bit short of her best distance first-up, and then again in her second run. But she just keeps stepping up and stepping up. She’s matured into an absolutely lovely horse in this campaign.

“She’s in great form, and we’re expecting her to present as a very good chance again at the races this weekend.

“Going up to 1400m third-up should be ideal, and then we’re hoping that she’ll be peaking for the Coupland’s Mile on the middle day of the carnival. That’s the plan, and we’ve been extremely happy with how her campaign has gone so far.”

It’s Business Time heads the TAB’s market for the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at $3. The other runners in single figures for the November 15 feature are Diss Is Dramatic ($4.50), Desert Lightning ($8) and defending champion He’s A Doozy ($8).

Walker and Bergerson’s team at Riccarton this Saturday also includes Trobriand in the Gr.3 War Decree Stakes (1600m).

The winner of the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) as a two-year-old last season, the Kermadec colt resumed with a third placing behind the spring’s standout three-year-old Crocetti in the Gr.3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka in August.

Trobriand subsequently relocated to Te Akau Racing’s Riccarton base, where he scored an impressive come-from-behind win in the Guineas Trial (1400m) on September 30.

Saturday’s War Decree Stakes is set to provide an indication of where he stands as a contender for the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) over the same course and distance on November 11. The TAB currently rates Trobriand an $8 chance for the Guineas, sharing second favouritism with his War Decree Stakes rival Lantern Way.

“We’ve been really happy with the way this horse has settled in down here,” Bergerson said. “He won very nicely in his first South Island run. The team was thrilled with his work on Tuesday, he worked absolutely super.

“I think we’re going to know a lot more after this race. It looks like quite an even field, and it’s good to see some North Island form down here with Lisa Latta and Stephen Marsh’s horses (Lantern Way and Burn To Shine).

“He’s drawn a little awkwardly in gate 12, so we’ll probably look to ride him back again and try to get him to settle. Stepping up to the mile should suit, and we think he can be competitive.”

Walker and Bergerson will also have a strong contingent in action at Pukekohe, including smart first-up winner Petrucci in the Dunstan Horsefeeds (1200m).

“She’s a mare that we’ve always had a good opinion of,” Bergerson said. “She’s another one who’s really matured into a lovely mare this season. She’s gone the right way since that very good first-up win.

“She worked really well on Tuesday and gets in with a nice, light weight. It’s a field that’s a little bit light on numbers, and she should get a good run from her inside gate. It looks a nice race for her.”

Ace High filly My Lips Are Sealed will step up into stakes class against a top-quality field in the Gr.2 Jamieson Park Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).

A stylish first-up winner at Avondale, My Lips Are Sealed was a close last-start sixth behind Lupo Solitario at Tauranga.

“She’s thrown in at the deep end here against a very strong field,” Bergerson said. “It’s looking like it’ll be a good track – we might have hoped for a little bit of rain for her.

“She hasn’t drawn an ideal barrier (gate 14), so we’ll look to ride her back and she’s probably going to need a bit of luck. She’s another one that we’ll know a lot more about after this weekend.” 

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