NZ Briefs for 08th March 2018

Parkes booked for Oaks ride; Group One aim for Cambridge mare; Cup goal for Kiwi stayer; Time called on top sprinter;Filly exceeds expectations
Parkes booked for Oaks ride
Johnathan Parkes will ride in-form Hamilton filly Contessa Vanessa in Saturday week's Gr.1 Al BastiEquiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.
Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson confirmed Parkes would take over from Chris Johnson, who was aboard for last Saturday's Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m) win at Ellerslie, but has plumped for last-start Gr.3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) winner Savvy Coup for the Oaks.
Contessa Vanessa has won five of her 17 starts and finished a luckless third to Savvy Coup in the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni before winning the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie and finishing second in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at the same track.
“She's come through Saturday's race in terrific order and she just keeps going from strength to strength. She's flying and I think she'll run super,” Rogerson said.
Group One aim for Cambridge mare
A gallant third placing in last Saturday's Gr.2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) has earned talented Cambridge mare Francaletta a shot at the Gr.1 CoolmoreClassic (1500m).
Trainer Murray Baker said Francaletta had come through the race in excellent order and she was pressing on to Saturday week's Rosehill fillies and mares’ feature.
“She's really improved so she'll run next week in the Coolmore.”
Bred by Raffles Dancers and raced by Lib Petagna, the High Chaparral five-year-old has won six of her 10 starts up to Group Three level in New Zealand and has now been Group Two-placed on both sides of the Tasman.
Cup goal for Kiwi stayer
Champion trainer Chris Waller has set the well-performed New Zealand stayer Patrick Erin on a path toward the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April
He has taken charge of the Gallant Guru gelding, who hasn’t raced since he finished fourth in the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) for Wingatui-horsemen Brian and Shane Anderton.
Patrick Erin will make his first appearance for Waller in Saturday’s Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) with Hugh Bowman taking the ride.
“He has won 10 starts, two of them on soft tracks. He’s a class stayer, but 1 1⁄4 m is going to be a bit short for him,” Waller said.
“He never got on the bridle in a short trial last week, but he has come on since then. He’s a very fit horse, but look out for him when he gets closer to the Sydney Cup.”
Time called on top sprinter
Multiple Group One winner Sacred Star has run his last race.
The eight-year-old son of Flying Spur has been retired and will now enjoy life in a show hunter/sport horse role with Paxton Condor.
Sacred Star won nine races and more than $780,000 from Tony Pike’s Cambridge stablewith his career highlights being Group One successes in the Telegraph (1200m) and the NRM Sprint (1400m). He also won the Gr.2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm.
Filly exceeds expectations
She’s Not Bad provided her connections with a pleasant surprise at Avondale.
Bred and part-owned by Mapperley Stud, the daughter of He’s Remarkable made a perfect start to her career on Wednesday with a maiden success over 7 f.
“She’s a bit hard to get a line because she’s a filly that always has a good look at things and while her work had been encouraging, we probably didn’t expect her to come out and perform quite as well as that,” said Jamie Richards, who trains the three-year-old with Stephen Autridge.
“So it’s very encouraging and she’s certainly a filly on the up.”

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