Pukekohe trainers Moira and Kieran Murdoch unearthed a promising three-year-old filly at Avondale on Thursday when Petrabella scored an impressive debut win in the Westbrook ‘Crackling Rose’ 2017 (1400m).
Sporting the silks of prominent owners Brendon and Jo Lindsay, the home-bred daughter of Pierro came from just off the speed in the hands of Leith Innes to chase down the well- fancied Massachusetts and looks a filly with upside.
Sent out a $24 chance, Petrabella had trialled on three occasions, finishing unplaced in her first two trials prior to a solid second.
“Her first trial up at Ruakaka was actually very impressive,” Moira Murdoch said. “She missed the jump by a mile.
“Her next two trials were on rain-affected ground and we just thought she needed a firm track.
“She had a lovely draw and a lovely trip today.
“She’s got a great temperament and I’d say she is quite talented.”
Peard impressed with debut win
Byerley Park trainer Allan Peard believes he has another handy filly on his hands after One Kotukustreet’s debut win in the AJC On Facebook 1200 at Avondale on Thursday.
The three-year-old daughter of Ego was pushed forward from barrier seven by jockey Sam Spratt to take the early lead. The duo were able to dictate terms throughout with One Kotukustreet distancing her rivals to win by two and a quarter lengths.
Peard, who trains the three-year-old in partnership with Bruce Wallace, was pleased with the win and believes she is capable of reaching stakes company.
“It was a very nice win first up,” he said. “Her trial form was really good. She was never asked to do much at the trials, but today she went straight to the front and is very similar to her full-sister One Baker Street, so it’s good for the team involved.
“(The only difference is) she is so relaxed and laidback where One Baker Street is a bit more fierce, but it’s a good win today.
“She’s certainly up to stakes level.”
Date set for revamped home-turn return
The reconstructed home-turn at Awapuni racecourse in Palmerston North will make a race day return on March 1 next year, however, it is reliant on a satisfactory trial day in January.
Trials were held on the reconstructed section on Tuesday, but a small section of the track did raise a slight concern for RACE Group tracks manager Kim Treweek.
“The majority of the new section raced really well (at the trials) but there was a 50m inside section, around the 600m, which was a bit softer and this created some inconsistencies,” Treweek said.
“Horses had been working around the turn for a number of weeks but we had 32mls of rain in the 48 hours before the trials and that showed that it needed a bit more time. We want everything to be 100 percent before we commit to racing on it.”
As a result, the 2100m races scheduled for the Christmas meeting at Awapuni, including the Group 3 Manawatu Cup, will be extended to 2200m.