Last start Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) placegetter Signora Nera will be aimed at further black-type features, but trainer Allan Sharrock said what path the three-year-old filly takes will become a lot clearer after racing at Awapuni on Saturday.
The daughter of Sweynesse will jump from barrier two in the Spreading Rural Bulk 1400 and her performance will dictate whether she heads north to contest the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 23, or the Group 3 New Zealand Bloodstock Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham a week later. “We will just see how she races on Saturday and pick an option,” Sharrock said.
The winner of two of her six starts, Sharrock was pleased with Signora Nera’s run in the Eulogy Stakes and believes she will be a strong chance this weekend. “I am very happy with her,” he said. “I think it was the run of the race last start. She was the only one who made ground, really. She is a nice filly and is going to get better with time, but she is doing a great job.
“I think she is a good chance in that race (on Saturday). She is a portly wee girl and she needs a race to have her ready for those two bigger races.”
While a $1 million carrot is luring, Sharrock said he will discuss Signora Nera’s race options with co-breeder and owner Luigi Muollo after Saturday’s contest. “I will talk with Luigi after Saturday,” Sharrock said. “He would like to go to Ellerslie and have a couple of runners by Sweynesse (who stands at Muollo’s Novara Park) for the sales race, but Aegon and Amarelinha are very good horses, so that is something we have got to think about.”
Signora Nera could be joined on Saturday by stablemate Sumi, who is dual accepted with the Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services 1400. The daughter of Atlante is on a path towards the Desert Gold Stakes and Sharrock is leaning towards lining her up against the older horses this weekend.
“She is probably going to end up in the rating 65 1400m,” he said. “She has got no luck with draws, but she is a very good filly. She will go from Saturday to the Desert Gold. I really rate her, she can run a huge sectional.
“She is going well, but it is always a worry when you go against the older horses as a baby, but there is no other option to close it up other than at Trentham the Saturday before the Desert Gold, which from where we live, is too big of a drive to do it back-to-back.
“We will just wait and see. If the fields fell apart, we may still head for the three-year-old race. We will just play it by ear.”
Sharrock will also line-up four-year-old gelding Tavattack in the same race after his first-up unplaced run at Awapuni on Boxing Day. “He never had a run first-up, he just cantered along behind them,” Sharrock said.
“He is a nice horse who hasn’t done a lot wrong in his career. “He has drawn a good marble (5) and he is a strong four-year-old, so he has got to be competitive.”
Meanwhile, Sharrock has been pleased with the way Tavi Mac has come through his Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) victory last month ahead of a tilt at the Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham next Saturday.
“He is flying, I couldn’t be happier with him,” Sharrock said. “He has progressed marvellously and has been galloping huge.
“He has got two hard gallops ahead of him to top him off for the Telegraph, but he has got a hell of a job ahead of him to beat Avantage. In saying that, racing is a funny old game and a lot of luck comes into it.”