Lady Telena to chase South Island riches

Lady Telena
Lady Telena pictured with trainer and part-owner Kenny Moore. Photo: Race Images South

Kenny Moore resisted the urge to chase the $650,000 Summer Series Bonus with his Group One performer Lady Telena in favour of targeting southern riches, and his decision is looking to have paid off.

Following Lady Telena’s placing in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham in January and seventh-placed run in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa in February, the daughter of Vespa was in contention for the $100,000 and $50,000 bonuses for the second and third series placegetters, but trainer and part-owner Moore elected to resist heading north once more to tackle the final leg of the series, the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie earlier this month.

“She was in the hunt, but we didn’t go to the Bonecrusher because at the time I thought Legarto was unbeatable, but as it happened she was,” Moore said.

“We had to get back here because we had to have two starts in the South Island to be eligible for that $350,000 race (Southern Alps Challenge), so she couldn’t have gone to the Bonecrusher and gone for that, so I chose to go for the South Island one instead.

“It is good to have a home too, I was getting sick of travelling and I like having my babies with me.”

Lady Telena showed she is more than up to the task of tackling next month’s Southern Alps Challenge (1600m) when finishing runner-up behind Burgie in the Group 3 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday.

“It was a brilliant finish with amazing sectionals, it was just a shame we couldn’t be a tad closer on the turn, but that is racing,” Moore said.

“It is a Group Three, as well as a Group One placing now, so that is great.

“She is just such a good girl, she is that little horse that could, and she does.”

Moore has been pleased with the way she has come through Saturday’s run and can’t wait to try and snare the lion’s share of the big prizemoney up for grabs in the last innovation race of the season.

“She is jumping out of her skin. I couldn’t be happier with her,” he said.

“She is going to go forward for the Southern Alps, it is a nice chance for us little chaps to have a chance at something a little bit bigger without the big boys being in the picture.”

Lady Telena has really come of age this year and Moore said he is pleasantly surprised by the success she has been having in the top echelon of racing in New Zealand.

“In the first month of training her I thought she had the ability to win a race or two, but she kept improving,” he said. “She is nothing to look at, she is quite a plain, ordinary horse and you wouldn’t think she is anything special, but whatever we throw at her, she just steps up to the mark and takes it on.”

Meanwhile, Moore is looking forward to kicking off the winter campaigns of a couple of his team next week.

“We have got the winter team coming along now,” he said. “Steve Austin and Franni Caccini will kick-off at Ashburton next week.”

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