Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston is looking forward to tackling the Wild Buck NZ Ale/Ikamatua Hotel Reefton Cup (1400m) today with Group Three winner Ticket To Ride.
The daughter of Shocking finished unplaced in the Listed Timaru Cup (1600m) last start, but Carston has been pleased with her progress since that run.
"She has come through the Timaru Cup well, I just felt the track firmed up a little bit too much.
"She is a funny mare, she can put in a shocker every now and then, but I am happy with her. She should run well." Ticket To Ride will step back to 1400m today and Carston believes that will be ideal for the 7-year-old mare.
"Her record has been a bit better at 1400m than a mile," he said. "She is back around a tight track which I think is going to suit, with a little bit of fire out of the track too. It is a nice race for her with good stake money."
If Ticket To Ride performs up to expectations today she could back-up at Omoto next week before being set for more stakes assignments.
"I will possibly back her up in the Miss Scenicland on Tuesday," Carston said. "That's a possibility, but I'd just like to get through this run first.
"Longer term, if she happens to run well on the coast she could either go to the Timaru Stakes (Listed, 1400m) at Riccarton or the White Robe Lodge (Group Three, 1600m) at Dunedin."
Carston will take a six-strong team to Reefton and rates Sharp 'N' Silver and Running Man as two other strong chances today.
"Sharp 'N' Silver went only fair at Kurow, but she seems to have trained on well, so I think she will be an each-way chance," he said.
"I think Running Man will be a good chance in the last. He has had no luck since I have had him, but he gets his chance tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Carston is looking forward to the resumption of multiple stakes winner Miss Federer on Saturday week. "Miss Federer had an exhibition gallop with Sanctify at Timaru on December 28," he said. "She worked very well. She will run in the Gore Guineas (Listed, 1335m) next Saturday."
- NZ Racing Desk