Matamata trainer Stephen Autridge has focussed on quality rather than quantity in his stable over the last few years, and it’s showing.
The veteran horseman has just 15 horses in work, and a third of those are three-year-old fillies on target for the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month.
Livid Sky well and truly added her name into the mix for a trip south when taking out the Gartshore Construction Maiden 3YO (1300m) at Tauranga on Wednesday.
“She has come a long way in a hurry, but we have always liked her. I think that she is a horse that will continue to improve,” Autridge said.
“Livid Sky has done the least (amount of racing of the five fillies), with one trial and two races, so she is catching up in a hurry.
“She will be chucked in the deep end in the Soliloquy Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m) in her next start.”
Stablemate and fellow 1000 Guineas hopeful Midnight Monarch finished eighth in the same race on Wednesday and Autridge is contemplating the remainder of her spring following and inspection on Thursday.
“We were disappointed with Midnight Monarch yesterday, so we are going to give her a check out today,” he said.
Autridge is looking forward to taking Tears Of Victory and Loch Katrine to their home track on Saturday where they will continue their path towards Riccarton in the Matamata Veterinary Services – Equine (1400m).
“They were spot on on Tuesday and they are both a good chance on Saturday,” he said.
“If they are going the right way after Saturday, they will also head to the Soliloquy.”
Still Bangon rounds out Autridge’s quintet of 1000 Guineas hopefuls, and he believes she is capable of gaining a spot in the field.
“We are still a chance with Still Bangon,” he said. “She has already won a race, which was taken off her, and she was unlucky the other day.
“They are all pretty good hopes.”
While looking forward to seeing his fillies go around on Saturday, Autridge is also excited about the prospects of Stylish Red in the Fairview Motors Matamata (1400m).
“She will be ridden quietly as she goes her best races when ridden quietly. I believe she is a good eachway chance,” he said.