Group one-winning mare Volpe Veloce stepped out at the Te Teko trials yesterday and was an impressive winner over 1010m.
The Graham Richardson and Gavin Parker-trained mare is not far away from resuming and has benefited from a winter spent in Queensland.
"I'm very happy," Richardson said. "She probably did a little bit more than what I wanted today, but Michael Coleman rode her and he is really pleased with her. She had a nice blow and she is where we want her."
The winner of 10 of her 17 starts, Volpe Veloce had a two-start winter campaign in Queensland where she finished sixth in the group one Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) and 10th in the group one Tattersalls Tiara (1350m), where she was beaten less than three lengths.
"She had a bit of a tough trip back from Brisbane to Sydney then over here, but she spelled very well at Caloundra," he said. "She has done well because of it. She is good in the coat and she has got a good middle to her now. As a three-year-old she always raced a little bit light, but now she looks like she has come of age.
"She is really big and strong now. This is her year, I think."
The group one Railway Stakes (1200m) winner is likely to resume at Rotorua on October 20 in the Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) before Richardson and Parker make longer term plans.
"She will run at Rotorua and then we will make a plan as to what direction we take," Richardson said.
He was contemplating running the five-year-old daughter of Foxwedge in blinkers first-up, and he feels that 1400m to a mile will be more suitable this term. "I like the thought of the Railway again, you've obviously got the Telegraph, but instead of the Telegraph maybe we will look at the BCD Group Sprint [group one, 1400m] at Te Rapa," he said.
"She's got a big action and I think she will be even better up to a mile this preparation, but we will see."
Although Jake Bayliss was aboard Volpe Veloce when successful in the Railway Stakes earlier this year, Michael Coleman has been confirmed as Volpe Veloce's rider this campaign.
"Jake did a fantastic job, but the owners have made the decision," Richardson said. "They're both very good riders."
Meanwhile, Richardson is pleased with some of the younger members of his team that are likely to step out over the coming weeks.
"I've got some really nice young horses. I've got a few going around on Wednesday at Matamata, including four three-year-olds that will run in maiden 1400s that I like.
"I also have another Foxwedge filly called Ana Zorra that shows promise and she will run at Taupo on October 10, so the team is coming along nicely."
- NZ Racing Desk