Mare ready to make step up

Sleeping Beauty on target for black type feature. Source: Trish Dunell.

Sleeping Beauty is in the right form to rise to the challenge of stakes racing.

The Rip Van Winkle five-year-old struck the sixth winning blow of her 13-start career at Tauranga last time out and has subsequently made pleasing progress.

“She’ll run in the Opunake Cup on Saturday week and the whole plan this preparation was to get black type with her,” said Andrew Scott, who trains in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan.

“She’ll be going down there in good form and she’ll come in well at the weights.

“She is very adept in heavy ground and the only question mark would be the 1400m, most of her best form has been at 1200m.”

Raced by Sir Peter Vela, Sleeping Beauty will be ridden at New Plymouth for the first time by Michael Coleman.

“She looks fantastic and she’s come through that last run well,” Scott said. “We’ll be looking for a strong performance from her.”

Meanwhile, Group winner Charles Road is going through his paces with the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) an obvious long-range plan.

“We can only hope, if he comes up well and hits form again,” Scott said.

Charles Road won the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) and finished third in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in the autumn.

“The trip to Sydney helped him to grow up and he’s a big, strong and mature horse this time around,” Scott said.

“He’s done six weeks work and he’s looking good.

“He’ll go to Te Teko on August 7 and hopefully he’ll trial in a manner that suggests we can make a plan to get him across to Australia.”