With a stakes success already ticked off by Flower Of Wanaka, trainer Chrissy Bambry is happy to bide her time before setting the mare another black-type target.
The daughter of Burgundy opened her current campaign with an upset victory in the Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) and will be pitted against more modest opposition at New Plymouth on Saturday.
Bambry didn’t give the Listed Sinclair Electrical & Refrigeration Opunake Cup (1400m) a serious thought for Flower of Wanaka, who will instead step out in Rating 75 company in the Celebrating Coventina Bay Handicap (1600m).
“With Justaskme in the Cup, she definitely wouldn’t have been very well-weighted,” Bambry said.
“We’ll just try and skip through the grades a bit more and then maybe concentrate on something later if it’s a wet spring.”
Flower Of Wanaka will be ridden by 2kg claiming apprentice Lily Sutherland, who was in the saddle when the four-year-old defeated Secret Amour in the rescheduled Tauranga Classic at Hastings.
“She is a genuine mare who tries really hard and everything played in her favour that day and we were stoked to get that win, which makes her a pretty valuable broodmare,” Bambry said.
She will still have representation in the Opunake Cup with stable stalwart Deerfield to fly the flag in the feature event.
A stakes winner and twice placed at Group One level in the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and Thorndon Mile (1600m), the rising 10-year-old was an encouraging last-start third at Trentham and will drop a further 3.5kg on Saturday.
“I don’t think he’s probably ever had 53.5kg on his back so it’s a nice race for him at the weights,” Bambry said.
“He’s taken a long time to get fit and we’ve hit a few speed bumps with him, but it looks like he’s getting back to it and Hamish (McNeill) rides him really well.”
Kingfisher Lad is also in good touch with minor placings from his last two appearances ahead of the Revital Fertiliser (2000m).
“He’s going well and didn’t like the super wet track at Awapuni the other day, he doesn’t like it that deep,” Bambry said.
“It’s a matter of keeping him ticking over and getting to something like the Waverley Cup (2200m) later on.”
Bambry’s other representative at New Plymouth is Hamish, who was unplaced on debut at Otaki, and will contest the Coastal Agri/De Laval Maiden (1400m).
“Nothing really panned out the way it needed to for him, but he pulled up well and hopefully he can acquit himself a bit better on Saturday,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bambry’s well-performed two-year-old Chantilly Lace has returned to work following time off after the U S Navy Flag filly’s runaway victory in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m).
“She had a month in the paddock and had her first gallop back on Tuesday,” Bambry said.
“She’s done a treat and will probably kick off again in the Wanganui Guineas (Listed, 1200m).”
The River City three-year-old feature, to be run on September 2, is a race the family has already won with Lord Turbo (2013) and his half-sister Alcaldesa (2015) with the pair trained by Bambry’s father Tony.