Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston is expecting a bold showing fresh-up from multiple stakes winner Miss Federer, as the well-named daughter of Swiss Ace commences a spring campaign on her home track on Saturday in the NZ Bloodstock Three-Year-Old (1000m).
The Christchurch-horseman, who won 21 races last season, cautioned that Miss Federer would be entering the event without a trial. “I’m as happy as I can be,” Carston said. “She hasn’t trialled and that’s purely because in the South Island we don’t have our raceday barrier attendants at the trials, which is not good enough. “Just with her manners, I wasn’t confident enough to take her to the trials and have something go wrong. I elected to give her two jump-outs at home and she is going in pretty fresh on Saturday.”
Carston will use the services of his in-form apprentice Kozzi Asano, who claims three kilograms. “It is quite a strong field and that is part of the reason why I have used my apprentice. The horse is first-up and will take massive benefit from the day out.”
Boasting three wins from five starts at two, Miss Federer was the impressive winner of the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) and the Group 3 Woburn Farm 2YO Classic (1200m) at New Plymouth before a minor set-back. “She had bone-chips removed at the end of last campaign and physically she is not a hell of a lot bigger but she has definitely strengthened up,” Carston said. “The surgery went 100 percent to plan and her recovery has gone to plan too. She hasn’t had a lame day.”
Carston said he was pleased with the progress Asano is making in the saddle, with the Japanese rider having been based in New Zealand for four years. “He worked for Gary Vile and did some work for Kevin Myers, where he was an amateur rider. “Kevin told him to come down to me and he would be better placed in the South Island and get more of a go. He is flying. He is a good kid that tries hard and clearly does his form and he has got ability.”
Carston is expecting a top-five finish from Miss Federer as she progresses towards the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Stakes Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) in a fortnight and he will also saddle up race rival Easy On The Eye, who finished fifth at her sole start at two. “She’s a nice filly. She is thrown in the deep end first-up, but she has trialled well. She will take benefit from the run too and is probably only a place chance, but she is a filly I like.”
Miss Federer and Easy On The Eye are both nominated for the Group 1 gavelhouse.com 47th New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 16, along with stablemates Sorceress and Sanctify, who filled the quinella at Ashburton last week. “I’ve probably got as nice a bunch of three-year-olds as I have ever had, but obviously there is a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and November. “Sorceress and Sanctify ran well last week and came through the run well, so I am pretty confident with my fillies going forward.”
Carston is expecting a rain-affected surface on Saturday after extensive rain on Wednesday and nominated Miss Oaks and Ticket To Ride as the best of his other chances on the day.