IN Racing
Velocious chasing another major payday
Top juvenile Velocious moves into serious bonus territory at Trentham on Saturday.
Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | April 04, 2024
Velocious will contest the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Trentham on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Top juvenile Velocious moves into serious bonus territory at Trentham on Saturday.

The Written Tycoon filly will attempt to not only double her tally at the highest level, but also race for an extended prize pool in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

The feature is the first event in the $1 million bonus series attached to next season’s inaugural $3.5 million NZB Kiwi (1500m).

“There’s been light discussions at the moment with a few (slot holders) but certainly nothing set in concrete,” trainer Stephen Marsh said.

Velocious will spearhead the Cambridge conditioner’s domestic team while Antrim Coast will bid to remain unbeaten in Australia when he runs at Caulfield.

The Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) runner-up produced another top performance to win the Gr.2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at The Valley and his sights are now set on the Elvis Thurgood Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield.

Velocious has already bagged victories in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and the Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) and Marsh can’t fault the star filly.

“She had a week in the paddock after her last win and she has come on really well,” Marsh said.

“We took her for an exhibition gallop to Ellerslie and she galloped beautifully. She’s had one gallop this week and she’s going there in great order.

“Win, lose or draw she’s had a fantastic campaign and will have a nice spell after this. She won’t have a taxing spring and we’ll be targeting the Kiwi.”

Velocious is raced by Albert Bosma’s Go Racing syndication company and they also have stablemate Skyman in the Gr.2 City Of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup (2100m).

The eight-year-old was a last-start sixth in the Gr.2 Japan Trophy (1600m) at Tauranga and will appreciate the return to middle distance racing.

“He gets in well at set weights and penalties, that’s the key, and he had the mile last week and that has brought him on a bit more,” Marsh said.

“He’s got a nice draw (two) and he will jump and put himself there, I think he’ll be hard to beat.”

The stable’s Trentham team, all to be ridden by Sam Spratt, is completed by last start winner Provence in the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m).

“She’s got a sticky gate (11) and she’ll get off the speed a bit. Her form has been really good and she’s a beautifully bred mare that deserves a crack at black type,” Marsh said.

Meanwhile, Antrim Coast has trained on well since his last-start success and will be in line for another Classic tilt if he runs up to expectations on Saturday.

“It looks an even sort of a field and I wouldn’t have thought it has the depth of the Alister Clark,” Marsh said.

“He’s got to carry 59kg and has a sticky gate (9), but he’ll go forward to get into a possie and 2400m at Caulfield will suit him better than 2000m at Moonee Valley.

“He’s in great order, his work has been very good so we’re happy.”

The Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 4 will be Antrim Coast’s next target.

“It’s gone from A$500,000 to a $1 million this year and it’s in a months’ time so it will be a beautiful race for him,” Marsh said.

Velocious Antrim Coast Stephen Marsh