Racing: Filly's future to be fixed

By Mike Dillon

Connections of courageous Te Rapa winner to chew over merits of an Oaks campaign.

Fix fights like a caged lion to hold off the challenge of Soriano at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo / Thinkstock
Fix fights like a caged lion to hold off the challenge of Soriano at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo / Thinkstock

It will be late tomorrow at the earliest that a decision on Fix's immediate racing campaign will be made.

Owner Gary Harding and trainers Bev and Ken Kelso are at a tricky crossroad after Fix's gallant victory in Saturday's $100,000 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa.

It pretty much comes down to the choice of whether Fix goes forward to the Oaks at Trentham, a race which could have a powerful influence on the Filly Of The Year series.

Fix leads the series after Saturday, but Soriano, who finished second to her, can leapfrog Fix if she wins the Oaks.

"There are a number of things we have to weigh up," said Ken Kelso yesterday.

"Obviously the series is a big part of that."

The Kelsos and Harding are sharing lunch tomorrow, when a decision will be made.

An interesting part of the equation is whether Fix will cope with the step from Saturday's 2000m to the 2400m of the Oaks.

Watching the race live on Saturday, it appeared Fix was running on empty from the 175m and that she bravely held the opposition at bay.

After several replays of the finish it's easier to believe that even if Fix was doing her best, she was still comfortably holding the others.

Rider Vinny Colgan had a slight change of position.

Initially, he said: "At the 200m I was waiting for something to run past her." Later, he said: "I didn't have to really punish her to get there."

If the connections decide the 2400m won't be an issue there is always the option to pay a late entry fee into the Derby at Ellerslie, for which Fix was not an original entry.

"One thing is for sure," said Ken Kelso, "she won't be running in the Lowland Stakes."

According to the trainers, Fix came through what looked to be a tough race in exceptional order.

"She ate up beautifully last night and was looking for her breakfast this morning. She's as bright as anything."

The Kelsos did a magnificent job picking Fix up after her tough winning run in the Royal Stakes at Ellerslie - she looked in truly wonderful condition in the parade on Saturday.

Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson was typically upbeat after Soriano's second. "She'll beat the colts out of sight in the Derby," he said.

Soriano is likely to contest the Oaks and the Derby.

Third-placed More Than Sacred will now head to the Oaks, according to co-trainer Tony Pike.

"We hadn't seriously considered it before, but she sat three wide in that race and still fought on so she's going to see out the 2400m at Trentham."

- NZ Herald

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