IN Racing
Trainers still weighing up Trentham option
Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard will decide on race morning if they take their full complement of runners to Trentham on Saturday.
NZ Racing Desk | December 02, 2022
Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard will decide on race morning if they take their full complement of runners to Trentham on Saturday.

The Otaki trainers will run the promising Strides and future cups contender Dalmatia, but are in two minds whether smart two-year-old Dapper will take his place in the Gr.2 Mode Technology Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m).

The Shooting To Win youngster has trained on well since his last appearance and in fine fettle if called upon.

“All three are going really well, it’s never easy to win on the bigger days though,” Benner said.

“Dapper has improved out of sight, but I’m not completely sure if we will run him and we’ll sleep on it before deciding on Saturday morning whether he goes.

“The Karaka Million (1200m) is the ultimate goal and he’s a really nice colt and going the right way. The other option is to run him at Awapuni in a couple of weeks.”

Dapper was purchased out of breeder Tony Rider’s Milan Park draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale earlier this year by owner Gary Harding for $150,000.

He is a half-brother to the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) winner Can I Get An Amen with their dam Brianna was successful in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) and third in the Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m).

Dapper has made his last two appearances on his home track and was a smart winner in September before finishing a gallant runner-up last month.

Strides is another gifted customer who will take on his own age group in the Cambridge Stud Premier (1400m).

The Spieth three-year-old turned in creditable performances in his first three outing before he overcame a slow start to steam home for an impressive victory against older opposition at Otaki.

“He’s putting it all together and they don’t win like that if they’re no good,” Benner said.

“If he can back that up with another good performance on Saturday it would be nice.

“We might look at the Wellington Guineas (Gr.2, 1400m) on January 14 and he’s eligible for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) after that.”

Also raced by Harding, Strides was a $120,000 buy at Karaka where he was offered by Lansdowne Park and is out of a half-sister to the Gr.1 Western Australian Derby (2400m) winner Dreamaway.

“He is a horse that we have got a lot of time for, he’s just taken a little while to piece it altogether and he’s got plenty of ability,” Benner said.

So too has the stable’s Platinum Homes Taranaki Chalmers Handicap (2500m) contender Dalmatia.

“He’s tough and some stickability and the ultimate goal with him is the Wellington Cup (Gr.3, 3200m) on January 28,” Benner said.

“Saturday’s race looks a nice one for where we are heading with him and I’m sure he’ll go really well.”

Dalmatia, who also holds a nomination for the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m), has won three of his 20 starts and produced a strong front-running performance to triumph last time out at Tauherenikau.

“He’s by Zed and they take a bit of time and he’s pretty physical now, he looks a picture,” Benner said. 

Auckland Cup Awapuni Brianna Cambridge Stud Premier Can I get An Amen Dalmatia Dapper Dreamaway Gary Harding half-sister Hollie Wynyard Johno Benner Karaka Million Karaka Million 3YO Classic Lansdowne Park Listed Counties Bowl Milan Park National Yearling Sale New Zealand Bloodstock Shooting To Win Spieth Strides Tony Rider Trentham Wakefield Challenge Stakes Wellington Guineas Western Australian Derby Zed