Group 1-winning mare Volpe Veloce will attempt to add more black-type to her record when she lines-up in the Group 2 Dunstan Feeds Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Counties on Saturday.
While heavy rain is forecast ahead of the Group 2 contest, it has been her wide draw (barrier nine) that has put a dampener on the race for her connections.
“It is what it is, there is predicted to be a little bit of rain, which won’t do her any harm and sometimes you are better drawing out a bit wide (in those conditions),” said Graham Richardson, who trains in partnership with Gavin Parker.
“Her work has been first-class and she has been fantastic (since her last run).”
That run was in the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) at Rotorua last month where she finished fourth behind Volks Lightning. Richardson was pleased with her fresh-up run and believes she will suit the right-handed way of running at Counties.
“She was a fair bit off them on the turn and made up a lot of ground to get beaten by a head,” he said.
“It was a big effort on a tight track, which probably didn’t suit her. I do believe she is a better horse right-handed.”
The winner of this year’s Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) is on a path to defend her title in the race, but those plans are predicated on a solid showing in Saturday’s contest.
“It will depend on how she goes, but at this stage she’ll probably head to the Railway,” Richardson said.
The Matamata conditioner will also line-up four other runners on Saturday, including Group Two-placed gelding Tiptronic who will tackle the Franklin Long Roofing 1600.
The son of O’Reilly has had three starts this campaign, including an unplaced run in the Group 3 Red Badge Sprint (1400m) at Hastings.
“He’s got a bit of weight (60kg), which worries me a bit,” Richardson said.
“He’s definitely improved on his last run, which was a bit disappointing.
“But he’s turned in the coat now, he’s had two trips away and I think it knocked him around a little bit in his first two starts.”