NEWS PREVIEW

Ruakaka to provide NZ Guineas insights

The son of Savabeel is one of six horses trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards have entered for the Al Basti Equiworld-sponsored 1 m classic at Riccarton on November 11 and will be looking to improve on his debut performance when he contests the Lion Red 1200.
Embellish was runner-up to Not Unusual Trip at Ellerslie last April and was then put aside for a spell. He reappeared with a trials run for second at Te Teko on August 31 and is expected to be hard to beat fresh-up.
“He’s a 2000 Guineas hope and we need to get started on him,” Richards said. “He trialled up well and he’s done well since. He’s a horse we’ve got a lot of time for.”
Embellish, a brother to Group One winner Diademe, was bought by David Ellis for $775,000 at the Premier Session of the 2016 National Yearling Sales at Karaka and is raced by the Te Akau 2016 Breeding Syndicate.
He shaped up well in two trials before his debut, finishing third to the exciting Ardrossan in his first heat at Rotorua last March then beating stablemate and subsequent stakes runner-up Summer Monsoon at the Matamata trials later that month.
In all bar his latest trial, Embellish has been ridden by stable jockey Opie Bosson, who will again take the reins on Wednesday.
Embellish faces an interesting line-up in the Lion Red 1200 as the maiden three-year-old event also includes three other entrants for the 2000 Guineas – Hanger, Ever Loyal and Revered – and three fillies entered for the Gr.1 Gavelhouse.com NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas on November 18, namely the debutantes Dama Zorro, Power Dream and Tokyo Lil.
Hanger lost his rider at the start when resuming at Taupo, but his other outing was in the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper at Matamata last February and he finished an eye-catching third to subsequent Gr.1 Sistema Diamond Stakes winner Summer Passage (a leading candidate for the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas) and Summer Monsoon.
Embellish’s stablemates also entered for the NZ 2000 Guineas are Gingernuts’ brother Griffin, Te Akau Shark, Wandering Eye, Age Of Fire and Heart Of Courage.
Griffin won on debut at Matamata last May and resumed with a fifth to the unbeaten Bostonian in the Listed El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy at Hastings last month.
“He’s running in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas (on Saturday) and going a little bit further will suit him,” Richards said.
Te Akau Shark and Wandering Eye are impressive recent last-start winners, Te Akau Shark charging home to score on debut at Te Rapa and Wandering Eye following up a debut second at Ruakaka with victory at Taupo.
“Te Akau Shark will go to the three-year-old 7 f at Matamata on Matamata Cup Day and Wandering Eye will either go there for a Rating 65 1400 or Te Aroha,” Richards said.
Age Of Fire and Heart Of Courage, a brother to Heroic Valour, are part of the stable’s South Island squad and will compete at Riccarton on Saturday. Age Of Fire was just beaten on debut by Greenpark Gem at Riccarton last month and Heart Of Courage has performed well at the trials since two unplaced runs last autumn.

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