Rotorua has become a happy stomping ground for Katie Perrie and she will be aiming to continue her good record at Arawa Park on Sunday in the Group 3 Staphanos Classic (1950m).
The Jim Collett-trained seven-year-old has had two starts at the track for a win and a placing in the Group 3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) in May.
The daughter of Rock ‘N’ Pop was nominated for the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings on Saturday, but Collett thought she was more suited to the Rotorua assignment.
“She has had three runs at Rotorua, and she has won a race and a trial, and been placed at black-type. We are just trying to get as much black-type for her as we can,” Collett said.
“I feel the track will be more to her liking at Rotorua than Hawke’s Bay and the way they run the race at Hawke’s Bay may be a little bit against her because it will probably be a speedily run race.”
Katie Perrie heads into Sunday off the back of two unplaced runs at Hastings, including a sixth in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) last start.
“She has come through it really nice, I am really happy with her,” Collett said.
“It was a good run, but she is not ideally suited by weight-for-age and she is a horse that needs a bit of room to work in.
“The way they ran it off the front, she found it difficult to make ground.”
Katie Perrie will jump from barrier two on Sunday with jockey Lisa Allpress aboard.
“The draw is not ideal because she likes a bit of room to work in, she is a big horse. It all depends on how they run it,” Collett said.
“If Lisa can get her some room to work in from the 600m home than she will have every opportunity.”
Bookmakers have installed Katie Perrie as a joint +400 favourite for the race alongside the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Two Madison.
Meanwhile, Collett will be farewelling his daughter, jockey Samantha Collett, on Saturday as she flies to Queensland to continue her riding career.
“She is off to Australia at 10am tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” Collett said.
“If she was ever going to do it, it would be now because of the stage she is at in her career and she is still riding well enough and she is light.
“You can always come back to New Zealand.
“It is always good to challenge yourself a little bit and go overseas. I think it is an exciting time for her.”