Horse trainers can at times surprise you.

Initially, you thought it would be a waste of time yesterday calling Kenny Rae to ask him if he'd watched Dijon Bleu winning Saturday's Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie to drive herself to $4 second favourite to the Rae-trained flier Prom Queen for the New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.

You know the roll-with-the-blows Rae won't change a second of his life if Prom Queen is beaten at Riccarton, so why watch the opposition.

"Watch it, I've watched it plenty of times," Rae surprised you with.


And there was plenty to watch. Dijou Bleu's run was somewhat difficult to assess as much as it was impressive. She came from near last, joined the leaders at the top of the home straight and seemingly did everything to get herself beaten when in front in the closing 220m.

She not only got her head to the left, so got it up unusually high and while horses looking at Ellerslie for the first time can often perform very greenly, it gave the impression she will need to run very straight to test Prom Queen.

Trainer Lisa Latta was unavailable for comment yesterday.

"Watched the races a number of times and don't know what to make of it as a trial for Riccarton," said Kenny Rae.

Lisa Latta's stable representative Andy Rennie was delighted at Ellerslie immediately after the race. "It's great for racing to have two fillies who haven't met - we're looking forward to it. This filly just keeps stepping up."

Two things were obvious in Dijon Bleu's performance - she can take a knock, she was axed soon after leaving the barriers and squeezed back to the tail, and she has a remarkable 100m sprint. The strides she took to work her way through the field to join the leaders on the home turn were not numerous and definitely remarkable.

Running around in the home straight reduced the winning margin over Kapoor to only a neck, but the runner up was stylish. She also ran greenly, hitting a flat spot soon after the home turn and looking likely to drop out before grabbing the bit again and rallying strongly.

New Zealand is blessed with talent aplenty in the 3-year-old ranks in both sexes.
Embellish firmed into $4 favouritism for the AlBasti Equiworld 2000 Guineas in beating the older horses in stylish fashion in the final race at Trentham on Saturday.

The handsome son of Savabeel sat handy, challenged at the 375m and did not have to be totally pressured to win well. Te Akau Shark is the $7 second favourite in the Guineas and Ever Loyal went to $8 with his win at Riccarton on Saturday and Sumstreetsumwhere is also on $8.