Connections of dual Group Two winner Our Abbadean are hoping their runner can break through for her maiden Group One victory at Trentham on Saturday.
The six-year-old daughter of Lookin At Lucky had a solid spring, contesting all three legs of the Hawke's Bay spring carnival, recording three minor placings, including third behind stablemate Melody Belle in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).
Our Abbadean will begin her summer campaign on Saturday where she will tackle the Gr.1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and her trainer is happy with her heading into the race fresh-up.
"We're bringing Our Abbadean down for the Captain Cook. She trialled really well on Tuesday at Matamata behind Jon Snow," Richards said.
"I was really pleased with that. We are just trying to keep her fresh so she can sprint well at a mile. She'll be a good chance."
Meanwhile, Richards will head into summer racing with a strong arsenal that includes three-time Group One winner Melody Belle.
"She looks terrific. She trialled well at Matamata last Tuesday and she'll trial again at Te Aroha on Tuesday week," Richards said.
"She'll run first-up in the Railway, she's going really well."
Melody Belle will likely be joined in the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) on New Year's Day by Group One-winning stablemate, Sword of Osman.
"Sword of Osman has been nominated for the Railway. He's going for a gallop at Ellerslie in about 10 days' time.
"He could well run in the Hallmark, but I just wonder if a three-year-old is going to be competitive at set weights and penalties in races like the Railway and the Telegraph. We are just feeling our way a bit with him.
"He's done about a week's work and we'll up the pace with him later in the week."
- NZ Racing Desk