Racing: Fleur De Lune ready

By Mike Dillon

Fleur De Lune (left), ridden by Jason Jago, winning Race 8. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Fleur De Lune (left), ridden by Jason Jago, winning Race 8. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Trainer Lee Somervell sees Fleur De Lune proving her last-start effort as something foreign.

Fleur De Lune finished ninth at Tauranga, but Somervell is unconcerned.

"Nothing went according to plan," said Somervell yesterday.

"She had 59kg, needed the race, she was in season and she was sitting on the back of the gates when they let them go. Nothing was going to go right from that point and it didn't."

Fleur De Lune was caught wide and blew out of condition late.

Last year, this high-class mare was narrowly beaten by Say No More in this $200,000 Fiber Fresh Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha.

Different to Tauranga, Fleur De Lune this time meets the field on level weights apart from Twilight Granita.

"Her blood test this week was first class," said Somervell.

The midweek easing of the surface with rain will not do Fleur De Lune any harm.

Although she can handle firm surfaces, her record when there is rain around is more than useful.

Diademe did not justify her favouritism at Tauranga, leading to the turn then dropping away.

She has had a chiropractor to her this week, the feeling being that something structural moved on the shifty surface on the day at Tauranga.

Diademe's work this week has been back to her high standard and could be the surprise.

Xanadu disappointed when only seventh behind Diademe at Ellerslie and has been freshened.

At her best she would be a major threat to this field, but her last start was a concern.

Neena Rock is the interesting runner - four starts then into a group one race.

There is not much question she will one day be a group one horse, but is this a bridge too far at this point?

Neena Rock's three-length victory at Trentham last start was massive - the effort of a headline maker in waiting.

The jump up for this is indicated by stakemoney: Quintessential has won $605,000, Neena Rock $25,000. Fleur De Lune has $409,000 in the bank.

The Taranaki mare's effort will be interesting

•High-class New Zealander Veyron has arrived in Sydney in good condition and felt free in his action when doing a light piece of work at Warwick Farm yesterday morning.

"He's very bright," said regular rider Rogan Norvall.

Veyron take on the $1.50 chance Pierro in tomorrow's George Main Stakes at Rosehill, in which Auckland galloper Mufhasa is also a starter in what will be a big day for New Zealand racing fans.

Last year's New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever is certain to appreciate the easing of the track in the BMW Stakes over 2400m where she will clash with 2010 Melbourne Cup runnerup Maluckyday as well as several Northern Hemisphere stayers.

This year's Derby winner Habibi will line up in the Vinery Stakes.

- NZ Herald

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