A long-term plan to target the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) with promising Tavistock filly Topkapi takes further shape when she tackles Sunday’s Listed Te Akau Gingernuts Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie.
Maungatautari trainers Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie have long held the opinion that the Sir Peter Vela-bred and raced Topkapi was a bright staying prospect and after a fast-finishing last-start fourth at Rotorua, she steps up to her first middle distance test in Sunday’s feature.
“She ran the fastest last 600m of that race the other day. She got back from a wide draw which made it hard but she hit the line really nicely and Danielle (Johnson, jockey) said she has the makings of a really nice stayer,” Ramsay said.
“She’s stepping up in distance on Sunday which we think will really suit her. She relaxes well and she’s getting better all the time. She’s got the breeding to stay, being by Tavistock out of Dolmabache, who we trained. She’s a wee bit ahead of where her mum was at the same stage. Dolmabache took a while to really hit her straps.”
Redoute’s Choice mare Dolmabache won the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa at the end of her four-year-old season before going on to place in the Group 2 Wellington Cup (2400m) and Group 1 International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa as a five-year-old.
“Hopefully if Topkapi runs well on Sunday, we’d like to get her to the Oaks, which has been the long-term goal. She should stay all day,” Ramsay said. “She’s still a maiden and it’s just her third start but there are plenty of maidens in this race. It’s her first look at Ellerslie but Danielle (Johnson, jockey) has stuck with her and she’s working really well. We’re happy with her.
“We want to see her attacking the line. It would be great if she could run top three but we’ll just get through this race and then make a plan.”
TAB bookmakers have Topkapi at $14 in a market headed by $2.30 favourite Mongolian Wings, a horse Johnson rode to win last start.
The Ramsay-Ritchie team is ticking over nicely with Siracusa the main flagbearer with her three wins this season, including success in the Listed Karaka Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe, before her last start third in the Group 2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) behind subsequent Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) winner Concert Hall.
Ramsay believes Star Witness filly Side By Side, a last-start winner at Tauranga, could develop into a black-type prospect, while Maison Roxanne has won her last two starts and he has a good opinion of Reliable Man filly Recalcitrant, who was only narrowly denied at Taupo last week.