Matamata trainer Karen Fursdon believes her stable star Yearn can turn around a disappointing last-start performance when she tackles the Listed Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
The consistent Savabeel mare turned in her worst career run when she tailed home the field in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe last month.
Fursdon puts the performance down to her mare’s complete dislike for the Slow7 track surface that prevailed on the day.
“She just hated it at Pukekohe and was dipping and diving all the way around that day,” she said.
“That’s just not her and she hasn’t turned a hair since.
“She looks a ball of muscle at the moment and has been working very well so, if we can get a track to suit, I expect her to be right amongst it on Wednesday.”
Fursdon did admit she has been scanning the forecasts for the week with the promise of heavy rain likely to see her scratch on race-morning if the track is rated worse than a Dead6.
“I don’t mind if it rains all day Monday and most of Tuesday but I want to see it fine up on Tuesday afternoon and be nice and hot and sunny on raceday,” she said.
“The work that Ellerslie have done on their track has been marvellous and it seems to cope well with the rain now.
“As long as they can get some drying in and the track looks like a Dead6 or better then we will take our place.
“We do have a wide barrier but I think with the speed on Shaun (McKay) can find a sit for her and then it is all up to her.
“She is not entered for the Railway, as her main target is the Telegraph at Trentham, so if she does win on Wednesday, she won’t be lining up on New Year’s day.
“I think she is best over 1400m and although the Telegraph is 1200m, it races more like a 1400m contest which will suit her down to the ground.”
While Yearn may not be seen on New Year’s day, Fursdon will still be well represented with promising mare Le Sablier set to tackle the rating 72 mile on the day.