In form three-year-old filly Emily Margaret has already one stakes victory to her name this spring and she will be looking to add the Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m) to that tally at Riccarton on Saturday.
The Kevin and Pam Hughes-trained runner has won two races this spring, including the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) two starts back, and finished a creditable third last-start in the Guineas Trial (1400m) at Riccarton.
“The pace went on and then it came off and she was trapped on the fence and it took her a while to relax,” Kevin Hughes said.
“They came home in 35 and she went through the line well, but she got held up and was put out of her rhythm.
“She seems to be fine, she hasn’t taken a step backwards, she just carries on with her work and we are looking forward to giving her a stretch over that extra bit of distance.”
The Pins filly gave apprentice jockey Jasmine Fawcett her first stakes win earlier this season and fellow apprentice Krishna Mudhoo will be hoping for his second when he is aboard Emily Margaret on Saturday.
“He rides a lot of work for me, he won a couple for me at Timaru, he’s a pretty experienced apprentice,” Hughes said.
While her outside barrier of 10 is disappointing for Hughes, he said he is more than happy with her heading into Saturday and that gate will give her plenty of options when tackling the mile distance for the first time.
“It would have been nice to have drawn four or five, but she does have options of going forward or back,” Hughes said.
“I can’t be disappointed with the way she is going, she galloped really well this week and I couldn’t really be any happier with her.”
The Zacinto Stakes will be Emily Margaret’s final hit-out before her main target of the spring, the Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month.
“Being the same distance as the 1000 Guineas we will know where we are at and what else we have to do,” Hughes said.
“It will be a good test and I am looking forward to it.”