It is all systems go towards the Group 1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) for gutsy filly Bellacontte.
The Chrissy Bambry-trained daughter of Burgundy tuned up for the Riccarton assignment with a tenacious victory over 1200m at Trentham on Sunday, with the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) winner using the Wellington hit-out in lieu of a trial.
“She is a very genuine little horse. I was only going to trial her before her next start in the Guineas but she has put on 15 kilos since her race at Taranaki so I felt like she needed that extra little bit of work,” Bambry said.
“I know it was stepping back in distance but on a wettish track it was always going to be more like 1400m.
“Sarah Macnab (jockey) said she had a good blow and said she was tying up that last 50m but she keeps digging in and when she feels the pinch she keeps pushing. That will tighten her up nicely and set her up in good stead for Christchurch.”
Bellacontte is the punters fifth elect for the November 13 Guineas at +900, in a market headed by the Tony Pike-trained There You Go at +240.
“She will work on the water treadmill and have a couple of gallops and head down the week of the race,” Bambry said.
“She has a travelling companion that will go down for a race as well so all going well they will go the week of.
“We’ll look after her and make sure she is in tip top shape. She came home and trotted around and was straight into her dinner, so she has pulled up pretty well.”
The one unknown with the Ben Kwok-raced filly is her ability to handle a good track, with each of her eight starts to date, in a career which commenced in May, on rain-affected going.
“We’ve never really tried her on a good track but every time we have run her on a better track she has run really well,” Bambry said.
“I don’t think she wants a really hard track but if it had the juice out of it a little bit, I think she would be pretty competitive.”
Bambry was also pleased to see veteran galloper Deerfield show a glimpse of his best when placed in the IRT Sprint (1200m) at Trentham under 62kgs.
Second across the line, Deerfield was relegated to third for causing interference and rider Sam O’Malley suspended for six days, but Bambry was taking the positives from the run.
“It was nice, it has taken us a long time to get him back. He has turned into a bit of a cunning old bugger and looks after himself,” she said.
“We took him to the trials last Tuesday and gave him a good hit out and Sam said he felt like the old Deerfield again.
“It was nice to see him back fighting up a storm again. Unfortunately we got knocked back a peg in the inquiry room but he might line up again at Feilding this weekend because there isn’t a lot for him after that.”
Deerfield will step up to the 2100m of the Listed Feilding Gold Cup with Hazel Schofer booked to ride.