Yonce vying for four-peat

Yonce will step up to a mile for the first time at Flemington on Saturday. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

New Zealand-bred mare Yonce will be out to continue her unbeaten streak when she heads to Flemington on Saturday for her first tilt over a mile.

The daughter of Proisir has won all three of her starts to date and trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace are looking forward to stepping her up in trip.

“She is a horse that is bred to get over further,” Maher told RSN.

“I think she will really appreciate the mile and I thought she was super last start to get the job done at 1400m.

“When she gets out to 2000m, she will be better again.”

Yonce has drawn the outside barrier in the 10-horse field but that poses no concern to Maher.

“We are at Flemington, so we have got a bit of time,” Maher said.

“I don’t think he (jockey John Allen) will be pushing her forward and he will probably ride her where she is comfortable and get a bit of cover, and let her roll into it, back her ability a bit.

“She has got a mature head on her shoulders and is in a really good spot, it looks like a nice race for her.”

Yonce was initially trained in New Zealand by Ross McCarroll for whom she placed in both of her trials before her sale to Australia.

Stablemates and fellow Kiwi-breds Playoffs and Zachaz will also be vying for back-to-back wins when they line-up in their respective 2000m and 1600m contests at Flemington.

Playoffs has been freshened since his victory at Caulfield last month and Maher is expecting another bold showing this weekend.

“Matty (Cartwright, jockey) knows him well and he has got a good affiliation with him,” Maher said.

“I know he is an older horse but you can really notice how much he has furnished from last prep to this prep. He just holds his condition better.

“He is quite a big, stretched out, staying type of horse and I think he is for a really solid campaign.

“He has trained on beautifully since his win and this looks like another nice race for him.”

Playoffs was purchased out of Cambridge Stud’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by bloodstock agent Dean Hawthorne for NZD$230,000. Cambridge Stud will offer his U S Navy Flag half-brother at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Book 1 Yearling Sale next month where he will go through the sale ring as Lot 373.

Maher said Zachaz has also appreciated a freshen-up since his last start win.

“I think Zachaz, much like Playoff, is in for a really solid prep,” Maher said.

“He has got really strong fresh form. From his win last month we just put him out into the paddock for a couple of weeks and just really freshened him up. He seems to be working well.”

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