The finish of the Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Rapa a few weeks ago told us a couple of things.
Although Thee Auld Floozie was narrowly beaten, it showed the grey mare has peaked at least three or four times this preparation, something few horses can do.
It also showed that Sofia Rosa, the stablemate, was looking to jump from that 1600m to 2000m and was looking also for more rain.
She is guaranteed the former in tomorrow's $100,000 Travis Stakes and if the weather forecast is correct at least some morning rain. A front is predicted to cross the northern half of the North Island tomorrow, with the major rain from late afternoon until Sunday morning.
That should have the track conditions perfect for Sofia Rosa. Her effort for fifth last start was stylish where she made up a huge amount of ground late to be 2.2 lengths behind Charmont and two lengths from Thee Auld Floozie.
Had that race been at 2000m, Sofia Rosa would have gone close to winning.
Trainer Stephen Marsh is delighted Thee Auld Floozie has maintained her form, but there is more a sense of timing about Sofia Rosa's progress. As a 2400m Oaks winner in Sydney and losing our Oaks on protest, she is well suited to a middle distance.
This should be a great contest. Last year's winner Rasa Lila will be primed after her first-up sixth in the Breeders Stakes. She needs little racing to find her true form and will be better suited to this 2000m than the last-start 1600m.
After a remarkable run of minors against the best classes, Charmont deserved her Breeders Stakes victory.
Although she has not prevailed at 2000m, she almost always hits the finish strongly and won't be too far from being suited again. Mime is the other chance. Her Breeders Stakes third was stylish and like Sofia Rosa she is looking for slightly more rain and the added distance. She should be perfectly tuned after two runs this preparation.
There are a couple of questions around the favourites in the $70,000 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders Stakes.
How ready for a sharp 1200m are Hall Of Fame, Sweet Leader and Bella Gioia?
Co-trainer Stephen Autridge believes Hall Of Fame, best known at 1600m and heading for Queensland, is pretty ready.
"We are very happy with his work and they will know he's there," Autridge said.