Guillada will be looking to secure her first stakes victory at Trentham on Saturday when she contests the Group 3 Bluestar Anniversary Handicap (1600m).
The daughter of Guillotine attained that all-important black-type last start when running second to The Real Beel in the Group 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) last month, cementing her future broodmare career. “The second in the Cal Isuzu is very important for her,” trainer Bryce Newman said. “She is a mare who we will keep. She belongs to my father-in-law and there are a few guys who race her with him. “We were stoked with the win. We went there and were playing in townhall company, but with a little bit more luck she might have ended up closer.”
Guillada had a freshen-up after the run and Newman is happy with her heading into Saturday, although he does share concerns about the small variance in weight between the field. “She went back into the paddock for 10 days after the Cal Isuzu, so she is coming in a little fresh again,” he said. “She does go well fresh, it seems to be the pattern she likes. “The concern for me is that we are up against the boys and there is such a small spread in the weights, with only two kilos over the entire field, so she has no major advantage there. “But she is going well and it’s time to step up against the big boys again. We are pretty happy to see her draw gate three on Saturday.”
TAB Bookmakers have installed Guillada as a $4.50 favourite for Saturday’s contest, ahead of Germanicus at $5.50 and Scott Base at $6. Newman said there are no firm plans for Guillada after Saturday and he will take a patient approach with her racing programme. “The run in the Thompson Handicap (Group 3, 1600m) last time at Trentham proved that she doesn’t do wet tracks, so we have to try and eek as much out of her before we get into winter again. “But the plan is to be as easy on her as we can and get to the races that we can with her.”
Meanwhile, Newman is a bit disillusioned about Gorbachev’s chances of going back-to-back in the Group 3 NZ Campus Of Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham next week after being assigned topweight of 59kg. “I have tried my best not to run afoul of the handicapper, but it appears I have failed,” Newman quipped. “He is ready to go and is good as gold, but he has just got to pull the grandstand unfortunately.”
The son of Gorky Park heads into the race off the back of victory in the Taupo Cup (2000m). “He has come through the Taupo Cup very well and is all good to go. “We will line-up on the two Saturdays (with Guillada and Gorbachev) and hopefully get a good result.”