Coulee in form ahead of G3 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes

Consistent performer Coulee showed she was on track to defend her Group 3 Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) title at Riccarton next month with a comprehensive win at Invercargill on Saturday

The pint-sized Gallant Guru mare hadn’t been seen in the winner’s circle since her Riccarton win last March however she indicated she was coming back to her best form with a handy run in the Group 3 White Robe Lodge Weight For Age (1600m) at her last start.

Favoured by the three-kilogram claim of apprentice Corey Campbell in Saturday’s open 1400m contest, Coulee made her rivals look second rate as she sat handy to the pace throughout before dashing away in the home straight to score a comfortable victory.

“She has been going well of late and had been quite unlucky a couple of times,” said co-trainer Shane Anderton.

“It probably didn’t really suit her last time at weight-for-age as she’s only a wee dot, but she battled on strongly and we thought she would be tough to roll this time.”

Anderton was pleased with the ride of Campbell who brought up a winning treble for the day when successful aboard Crispin for the stable in the last race on the card.

“Corey rode her nicely and it was probably the winning of the race when he had her so handy on a slow speed,” he said.

“She has a good kick and when she booted away from them at the top of the straight I thought she would be hard to catch.

“She will go to Riccarton now to tackle the Breeders Stakes again. We’ll just see how she does over the next few days before we decide whether she has one more run before Riccarton or not.”

Anderton was also pleased with the win of Crispin who came from well back to score her second career victory after breaking maidens on her home track earlier in the month.

“She is a talented mare and you don’t often see them come from that far back at Invercargill,” he said.

“I think she was in the last four turning for home, so it was a very good performance.

“She had been unlucky a few times before she got her maiden win so I think there is more in store for her. We’ll just take her through the grades but there is a nice fillies and mares race over 1400m for her at Riverton later next month that we think will suit her, so that will be her main target for this campaign.”