Funny Girl broke through for her maiden victory first-up on the Cambridge synthetic earlier this month and trainer Lance Noble believes that will give her an edge on her rivals heading into the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on Saturday.
With heavy rain forecast ahead of the weekend Noble said her fitness may prove to be an advantage on the rain-affected track.
“She won well at Cambridge,” Noble said of the Brendan and Jo Lindsay raced filly.
“She has had that run under her belt and there are probably a few horses that are going to go into the Gold Trail fresh. I think we will benefit if it is a little bit wetter, having had that run under our belt.”
While the daughter of Showcasing raced on the synthetic in her fresh-up three-year-old assignment, she did place in her two juvenile starts on the grass, so is proven on the surface.
“She did perform well last season as a two-year-old (on the grass). She ran into a couple of good horses when she was placed at two,” Noble said.
“It will be a big step up for her but when you are an early three-year-old you don’t know until you measure them up against the best that are around.”
An unknown factor ahead of the weekend is travel, with the float journey from Noble’s Karaka base to Hastings set to be Funny Girl’s longest trip to date.
“It’s a little bit further than the Waikato. She is a pretty sensible horse so I think she will travel well,” Noble said.
Funny Girl will be joined on the float trip south by Ziegfeld, but whether her stablemate makes the full journey to Hastings is yet to be decided.
“Ziegfeld, who is another three-year-old filly, she is in a (rating) 65 1300m, but there is a 65 1300 at Taupo the day before, so we will double nominate and see what the track conditions come up,” Noble said.
Ziegfeld won her only start at Ruakaka in April and Noble has been pleased with her two trials this time in, albeit against open class gallopers the like of Catalyst.
“It’s always a bit hard because she has won a race so in the trials she has had to take on the older horses,” Noble said.
“Her last run on the synthetic was okay but I think she will appreciate getting back on a grass track.
“She is progressing well. We see her more as a mile horse, hence why we aren’t going to the Gold Trail with her, we will just take a different path.
“I think once she gets up to a mile she will be very competitive.”