Foxton horse trainer Chrissy Bambry will load an old master and a young gun on the float tomorrow for an attack of features races at Levin Racing Club's meeting at the Ōtaki-Māori racecourse.
Bambry has promising 2-year-old filly Bellacontte entered in the listed $50,000 Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m), while the elder statesman Deerfield contests the $32,500 Levin TAB and Sports Bar Sprint (1100m).
Both horses were favoured in early TAB markets, at $4.50 and $3.50 respectively.
Bellacontte already had black type to her name after an eye-catching run for third in the listed Castletown Stakes in early June, having settled last from a wide draw and finishing faster than any other horse.
The Burgundy filly backed up that run with a sprint win at Hawke's Bay last week over 800m, a race that wasn't originally on Bambry's schedule.
"When I saw there wasn't many nominated for the Hawke's Bay race I thought it would be more like a trail and would be a good lead up run for the Ryder Stakes," she said.
The likely heavy track conditions at Ōtaki held no concern for Bambry, who said Bellacontte wasn't an overly big filly which allowed her to tippy toe through wet tracks better than most.
"She's a slight little filly so she should skip through it all right," she said.
Meanwhile, travelling companion Deerfield might be a rising 8-year-old but continues to card top class performances.
He was given time to mature as a young horse and had now won 11 of his 32 career starts and more than $250,000 in stake money, including Group One placings in the Thorndon Mile and Captain Cook Stakes this season.
The son of Falkirk could give favourite and top-weight Tavi Mac a fright with a 5.5kg swing in the weights, although the connections of Tavi Mac may well look to claim weight relief through engaging an apprentice jockey.
"He does get in with quite a nice weight with Tavi Mac in the field, so hopefully ..." she said.
Bambry had enjoyed a successful run of late and the ability to keep her team peaking for long periods could be attributed to her training methods.
A water treadmill was on hand and proved an invaluable training tool for keeping horses happy and fit, and a reason why Deerfield continued to perform consistently at the top level over many seasons.
"He literally does all his work on the treadmill," she said.
Bellacontte also worked on the treadmill and visited the training track for fastwork now she was race-fit. It would be used to keep her fresh with early three-year-old spring targets and Whanganui and Hawke's Bay looming.
"It's great for conditioning horses and keeps the pressure off their joints, and it freshens their minds," she said.
Bellacontte was one of two fillies Bambry had in work for prominent Singapore-based owner Ben Kwok, the other a promising filly by Tavistock.
Bambry said Sarah McNab was a jockey that suited Bellacontte so again had the ride, while senior rider Jonathan Parkes would ride Deerfield.
Meanwhile, Bambry also loads up Dubai's Moko on the float, who is not without hope in the $22,500 Levin Cossie Club Handicap (2000m) earlier in the day.
A win by Dubai's Moko would be special as the mare was part-owned by Tony and Judith Bambry, along with breeders Robin and Kathy Hapi.
Dubai's Moko was stepping up over distance for the first time in her career and breeding suggests it won't be a problem. Her dam Dubai Belle was a black type performer who won over distance and was placed in both Manawatū and Whanganui Cups.
"She's looking for more ground now," she said.