In-foal mare Celebrity Miss would be a fitting winner at Wanganui today.
Successful at stakes level and a group one placegetter, she is nearing the end of her career and victory in the Civics @ Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge Wanganui Cup would be highly appropriate.
"We sponsor the race and have done for a number of years, but I've never had anything to run in the race before now," trainer Lee Somervell said.
"She is in foal to Shocking and that's made a big difference to her. They often run very well in the early stages of a pregnancy.
"Her work has been excellent and I've got a sneaky feeling that she's going to handle Wanganui very well " it can be an on-pace track and the weight is a gift for her."
For a mare with her record, Celebrity Miss does look particularly well placed on the minimum 53kg.
The Civics 6-year-old, whose career highlights are her win in the Jakalberry Classic and a second in the Livamol Classic, has been below par in her past three runs, but Somervell believes that is about to change.
"If she is anywhere near her best, and I very much tend to think she is, then she's going to be very competitive," he said.
"Trudy Thornton won't be at Wanganui so I've got Emily Farr and I'm very happy to have her."
Farr will also be aboard Celebrity Miss' stablemate Stradivarius in the Wanganui Steelformers 1590.
In further Central Districts news, Lincoln Blue is proving more than a match for his own age group over a mile and there is confidence the Awapuni 3-year-old can make his presence felt over more ground.
The well-related colt earned top honours in the Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes at Otaki yesterday to complete a black type double for trainer Lisa Latta, who had earlier produced North And South to claim the Chainey's Panasonic Levin Stakes.
"He's a real up-and-comer," Latta said. "He holds nominations for the Levin Classic and the NZ Derby."
A son of Savabeel and a brother to the Queensland Derby winner Brambles, Lincoln Blue coped with the Slow (8) conditions under a good ride from Masa Tanaka. "I think he will be better on top of the ground; he doesn't need wet tracks," Latta said.
She has taken a patient approach with Lincoln Blue and she wasn't prepared to pressure him to be ready for a tilt at the 2000 Guineas.
"I thought that would come up a touch too soon for him so I decided to set him for this race," Latta said.
"I said to Masa to get him up in the first three or four and don't be afraid to get going and put the pressure on 500m out."
Tanaka did just that and Lincoln Blue forged clear in the run home to beat Rayas, who came from the tail of the field, and No Fuss Gus.
"He was very professional and jumped out well and he travelled nicely all the way," Tanaka said. "I thought we had it won at the top of the straight."
- NZ Racing Desk