Racing: Otaki trainer seeks slice of Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes pie

Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Slice Of Class already has immense value as a future broodmare but Otaki trainer Karen Zimmerman is hoping to further embellish her worth in the coming months.

The 6-year-old Guillotine mare visited Westbury Stud stallion Makfi after her narrow defeat in last month's Taranaki Breeders' Stakes (1400m) at Hawera and has since had a positive scan.

That means her current preparation will be her last and Zimmerman is hoping to optimise her upcoming opportunities.

"She's got until the end of January and we'll try and stick to stakes racing for her before then," Zimmerman said.

"A lot depends on whether we stay at 1400m or get her back up over a mile. If she's showing she wants 1600m, then the Thorndon Mile might be her last start."

Slice Of Class produced one of her best performances when she finished fourth to multiple group one winners Puccini and Soriano in the 2015 Thorndon Mile at Trentham, though her most important win was her Canterbury Breeders' Stakes win at Riccarton two starts earlier.

A winner of four of her 25 starts, Slice Of Class won a trial at Otaki last week in preparation for the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe today.

"She's thriving. She did more work than the winner [Underthemoonlight] at Hawera last time. She came wide, whereas the winner made her run closer in and there was only half a neck between them at the line," Zimmerman said.

"She had a week at the stud after that but she won a trial last week at Otaki and as long as we get the right trip, she can be right in it on Saturday.

"She gets back but that's the only way to ride her. You can't ride her handy because then she doesn't round her race out.

"Let's just hope the track doesn't get too wet. She doesn't mind it wet - in fact that might help her more than some of the others - but she doesn't want it too heavy."

The Pukekohe track was rated a Dead (6) yesterday morning.

Safely through today, Slice Of Class will tackle either the Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa on December 10 or the Kamada Park Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni a week later

A sense of timing around Chenille has her connections confident she can go close to doubling her stakes tally later on the card.

Last season's Hawke's Bay Gold Cup winner will strip in top order for the Counties Cup after a last-start success over 1600m at Ellerslie.

"She needed her first two runs and in a smart Rating 85 field over a mile I thought they may have been a touch sharp for her, but she won well," Pike said.

Runner-up Battle Time has since franked the form by winning the Coupland's Bakeries Mile at Riccarton.

"I'm happy with her going up to 2100m. She's in well enough at the weights and with a good draw I'm sure she's going to run well," Pike said.

Chenille holds nominations for a number of upcoming staying features with her ultimate goal the Auckland Cup. It is also the path stablemate and race rival Jiayuguan will follow.

"We've only had her a couple of months so we're still feeling our way a bit," Pike said. "She is a genuine stayer who probably needs one more run."

The Irish-bred mare's three Australian wins from John Thompson's stable were all over 2400m.

"She is a bit hit or miss, but on her best day she can be very competitive in a nice race here," Pike said.

Pike will also be much the wiser with Snowdrop after she resumes in the Counties Bowl.

"It's a hot field by New Zealand standards so we will see where she fits in," he said.

"It's her first time in open company against stakes winners, but her trial was really good and she's a pretty handy mare."

Further south, Dynamo may not have everything in his favour at Awapuni today, but he could still make a serious impression.

The northern visitor will strike a field of moderate quality when he makes his open class debut in the John Turkington Forestry/Wai Pine Holdings Bulls Country Cup.

"He hasn't raced for two months and it's going to be a Heavy (11) track," trainer Brendan Hawtin said.

"He has gone well in a fresh state in the past and I am happy with him, but he could be found out by the track. That's the only reservation I have."

Hawtin said he had been tempted to head south by the $30,000 stake on offer. "The other option was a Rating 75 race over 1400m at Te Aroha next Wednesday where he would be running for $8000.

"We thought we might as well run for a bit of extra dough and on his day he's up to getting a bit of the prize."

Dynamo, who will be ridden by the promising apprentice Tim Johnson, has won four times from 15 appearances.

The Fully Fledged 5-year-old has also proved himself racing left-handed, with a win at New Plymouth last campaign.

- NZ Racing Desk

- NZ Herald

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