Group 1 winner Volpe Veloce will most likely contest Saturday’s Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, with the six-year-old mare to step up in distance after only beating one runner home in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at the same track a fortnight ago.
Trainer Graham Richardson believes the mare will benefit immensely from her fresh-up run, in which she ran into Western Australian star Acadia Queen, who could be one of the key horses to follow this spring. “Initially I was disappointed, but they ran way too quick for her and it was only over 1300m,” he said. “She actually got in amongst them and she didn’t like that. She’s going to have blinkers on this weekend. “She still ran the fourth quickest last furlong of all the horses in the field. She tried hard and had a decent blow and she will definitely improve.”
Volpe Veloce also holds a nomination for Saturday’s Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) but Richardson said his preference was to contest the Shannon Stakes and he hopes the addition of blinkers will enable the mare to take a more forward position. “We’ve just got to remember that she’s a very good mare but they are world class sprinters over there, so that’s a big difference and that’s what stakes-money is all about,” he said.
“Hopefully the blinkers can put a bit of zip back into her and she pulled up after that race like she’d never had one. She has definitely improved. “She’s at John Thompson’s stables at Randwick and Rogan Norvall (assistant trainer) and myself keep swapping over. He has great stables there and she has done well.”
The Matamata horseman confirmed Saturday would be a crossroad for Volpe Veloce as to what shape her campaign might take. “It all depends on how she goes this weekend as to what her program is this preparation,” he said. “If she doesn’t live up to what we hope, we might sit down and think about bringing her back home for the races here. I see the Telegraph (Group 1, 1200m) is at weight-for-age now, which is a great idea. We should have more of them.”
Meanwhile, Richardson unveiled a nice two-year-old at the Cambridge trials on Monday, with a Vancouver colt out of American stakes performer Select Cat catching the eye when second. “He is a nice horse,” Richardson said of the $130,000 Karaka yearling sale purchase. “That was his second trial and he did a lot wrong and he is still quite tubby, but we will get him named and go straight to the races now. “He was a nice horse at the sales and he has really developed and he is built to show up at two. “I’ve got some really nice young horses.”