Blanco Belle will take another step toward her Group One autumn goal when she makes an appearance at her home meeting on Saturday.
The talented filly has already measured up encouragingly against the best of her age group as she continues on a path toward the Group 1New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17.
“She’s going to run in the fillies’ race here over 1800m, it’s nice and handy for us,” said New Plymouth part-owner and trainer Susan Rainford, referring to the Listed Oaks Prelude.
“She’s going along well and we’re just trying to get her to relax a bit better. She gives her track rider a hard time, but we’ll sort her out.”
Blanco Belle shortened to an $18 quote for the Oaks following her last-start effort for second behind Dijon Bleu in the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
“She hasn’t left an oat since then,” Rainford said. “She was up against some pretty good horses with good trainers but as Winston Churchill said, we’re all equal on the turf.
“We went to Wellington and back in the day, she copes very well and just goes to sleep in her box and in the truck.
“It was quite a hard race. She drew out wide and she gave it all she had.”
A debut winner in the winter, Blanco Belle has finished in the money in her three subsequent starts having picked up her first black type credit when runner-up in the Listed The O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui in the spring.