Richards Upbeat Ahead of Australian Features

Date: 25 Sep 2021

Richards Upbeat Ahead of Australian Features


New Zealand's leading racing publication Raceform reports:


By Richard Edmunds


While this weekend brings a slight reprieve in the New Zealand workload of trainer Jamie Richards, it continues to be all systems go for Te Akau Racing's top-flight flagbearers in Australia.

Richards, who saddled more than 20 runners between Friday and Sunday last weekend, will watch on from this side of the Tasman on Saturday as a trio of stable stars tackle Group One, Group Two and Listed assignments in Melbourne and Sydney.

The headline act is Brendan and Jo Lindsay's triple Group One winner Probabeel, who will head to Sandown for Saturday's Gr. 1 Underwood Stakes on a quick back-up from her gallant fifth in the Gr. 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield last weekend.

“Weight can stop a train,” Richards said. “She had a nice run in transit, although I'm not sure she was entirely comfortable down there on the inside. But she gave 120 per cent and ended up being beaten by just over a length, which was a big effort with a lot of weight on her back.

“She's come through that race in great shape, and we've decided to try to get away from those handicaps now and get her back on the weight-for-age route. She'd probably get at least 57 kilograms again in a race like the Toorak Handicap, so we'd rather switch to weight-for-age, and this race probably provides the best opportunity to do that in terms of its spacing into something like the Cox Plate.

“She'll be running against a pretty exciting horse in Zaaki on Saturday, so this will give us a good line on what we should do with her over the next few weeks - whether we're going well enough to take a serious shot at the Cox Plate, or whether we might be better to target something like an Empire Rose Stakes against her own sex.

“The step up to 1800 metres this week doesn't worry me. I think she's had the right sort of build-up behind her - she's third-up now, with some good spacing between those first couple of runs, which I like, and some good trials and jumpouts under her belt as well. She should be ready for it.”

In Sydney, stellar sprinting mare Entriviere will stretch out to 1400 metres in the Gr. 2 Golden Pendant at Rosehill.

Two weeks ago at Kembla Grange, the daughter of Tavistock collected the sixth win of her eight-start career with a sparkling performance in the Gr. 2 Sheraco Stakes.

“Dad (Paul Richards) has been really happy with the way she came through that run and how she's trained on since then,” Richards said.

“This is a bit of a tighter turnaround than we've given her in the past - we've usually spaced her runs out a little bit more than this. But this is a nice race for her to go around in on Saturday, and then we'll probably give her a month between that and the new A$2 million race, The Invitation, if we're invited.

“She gets in nicely with 56 kilograms under the set weights and penalties conditions on Saturday, and we think she should enjoy the step up to 1400 metres.”

Last season's super-impressive Gr. 1 Sistema Stakes winner Sword Of State will make a delayed start to his three-year-old season in Saturday's Listed Heritage Stakes, having missed last month's Gr. 3 San Domenico Stakes due to rain-affected ground and a slight concern around his bloods.

“This race looks like a nice way to get us back on track after we were just held up a bit when we were trying to get him to the Golden Rose,” Richards said. “We just took our time a bit with him after that, and we've been happy with him.

“Godolphin have a very talented colt called Paulele in the race, he'll be extremely hard to beat, and we might be just a little bit underdone after missing a trial. But he's had some decent hitouts on the track and should be close enough to the mark.”

“We've been pretty busy in recent days with a big number of horses at the races and trials,” Richards said. “There's some moisture predicted for this weekend, so we'll end up being a fair bit quieter with our numbers."


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