Promising filly Le Villi will carry new colours when she lines-up in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on Saturday.
Australian Bloodstock purchased the daughter of Puccini following her fifth placed run in the Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie last start and they could receive an immediate return if she performs well this weekend.
Trainer John Wheeler was pleased with her run at Ellerslie last start and he believes the 2400m won’t be an issue for her.
“I was very happy with her,” he said. “She took a couple of days to get over it but once she did, she has carried on like she did before. She is well ahead of Saturday.
“I have got no doubt about her getting the distance, which is a big plus, because a lot of them will struggle to get the distance.
“She is pretty fit, so I am pretty happy with her.”
While Wheeler is only promised the one further run with the filly, she could remain in his care for a tilt at the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick if she were to perform well this weekend.
“At this stage she is in my care until after the Oaks, but they did say they would leave her to me to take her to the AJC Oaks if she went well enough. But they own the horse, so they are the ones that make the decisions,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler will also line-up last year’s Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) runner-up Beaudz Well in the Listed Barneswood Farm New Zealand St Leger (2600m).
“He was very disappointing last start, but I thought his runs before that were good, I was very happy with him,” Wheeler said.
“I don’t know whether the track at Ellerslie was a little too firm for him last start, he prefers some cut in the ground.
“He has worked well since and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him. He is going to be a good chance in the St Leger.”
Wheeler’s Trentham team will be rounded out by Pinsk in the New World Churton Park Premier (2200m).
“It’s her first run over ground, so we will see what happens,” Wheeler said. “She is destined to be a staying mare.
“She is going pretty well and her work has been good, and her recent racing has been good, so I expect her to go a really nice race.” – NZ Racing Desk