Sergio shoots for three straight

Sergio will be looking to win his third race in succession at Awapuni on Saturday. Photo: Race Images PN

Foxton trainer Chrissy Bambry is keen to see four-year-old gelding Sergio continue his upward trajectory as he aims to land his third win in succession when stepping up in distance in the Tui Backing A Winner Since 1889 (2100m) at Awapuni on Saturday.

The son of Swiss Ace is one of three runners on the card for Bambry and sports the colours of the late Kevin Pratt’s Kamada Bloodstock.

Raced by Pratt’s four children, Sergio is providing the family with plenty of thrills, with the last start course winner over 1550m a work in progress.

“He is still very much a baby and quite immature,” Bambry said.

“He had a significant injury as a baby and Kamada really had to do a lot of work with him. Kevin Pratt actually did a lot of the bandaging and cared for the horse himself, so he is a pretty special horse to his kids and it would be really nice to see him win again.

“There was no suitable mile race for him in the next three weeks on a premier day, so we have elected to step him up over ground.

“He seems to be a lot more settled in his work since his last run so hopefully that translates to race day.”

A noted front-runner, top jockey Johnathan Parkes will ride with Sam O’Malley, the successful rider at his past two starts, unable to make the 57kg weight.

“He makes his own decisions to lead. He has always been a horse that is quite fierce but he was a little bit more settled last time,” Bambry said.

“Johnathan has ridden him before in a trial and in his first start. He knows him and it is always nice to have someone on who knows how well they go.”

Talented three-year-old filly Third Time Round will look to break maiden ranks when she takes on a solid line-up in a three-year-old 1400m contest in the day’s opener.

A half-sister to Group Three winner Pop Star Princess and stakes-placed Queen Of Zealand, Third Time Round is a daughter of Tivaci that caught the eye when closing well for second at New Plymouth last start, despite racing three-wide throughout.

“I expect her to go very well again,” Bambry said. “She is a horse with a lot of ability on a good track and the first two runs were on unsuitable ground.

“Last start the wide draw probably beat her at Taranaki but she needed the run and her sectionals were very good. If we had drawn in, I think she would have been hard to beat.

“It is a strong field, but it is a suitable race towards bigger targets and I am sure she will be very competitive and be top three on Saturday.

“I think a race like the Desert Gold (Group 3, 1600m) will suit her down to the ground over a mile.

“I originally got her to pre-train but the Jones family have kept her with me. As soon as I galloped her I knew how good she was, so I am certainly not complaining. On a good track, she has got a really good turn of foot.”

Bambry is hopeful the best version of unpredictable sprinter Scotch will present in the Tom Trotter Memorial (1100m)

“If he settles, he is a real chance, but if he pulls his head off at the start then he can’t finish it off. Over 1100m, the speed should be on which should help,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bambry reports that black-type gallopers Bellacontte and Spring Tide will enjoy another few weeks in the paddock before their next campaign.

“They are both out having a break and will be back in in the next couple of weeks and they will be nice horses for the late autumn and winter,” Bambry said.

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