Group One redemption for in-form mare

Supera winning the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.  - Grant Matthew (Race Images Palmerston North)
Supera winning the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.

Grant Matthew (Race Images Palmerston North)

Group Three-winning mare Supera will have her second tilt at Group One glory at Te Aroha on Saturday when she contests the Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).

The Ken and Bev Kelso and Mark Donoghue-trained four-year-old was tripped up by track conditions last start in the Gr.1 WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki in February, but her connections believe you can rule a line through that result and are pleased with her heading into Saturday.

“She’s very good, I’m happy with her,” Ken Kelso said. “She worked up very well on Tuesday and had an exhibition gallop at Matamata with (race rival) Our Abbadean last Wednesday. They worked nicely. I’m very happy going into the race.

“She just didn’t handle the track (at Otaki). The track was very ordinary.”

While disappointed in the track conditions at Otaki, Kelso has taken some confidence out of the subsequent results of beaten runners in the race.

“The form out of that race from the horses that finished behind her is good,” he said.

“We ran seventh, Volpe Veloce ran eighth and came out and won her next start (Gr.2 Japan NZ International Trophy, 1600m). Boots ‘N’ All finished ninth and won his next start (Hororata Gold Cup, 1800m) and even the horse of Chris Waller’s (Endless Drama) came out and ran fourth in the Group Two (behind Volpe Veloce).

“The beaten runners out of that race, due to the track conditions, have all come out and performed, and they finished behind us.”

Kelso had been pleased with the way Supera was performing prior to that run, winning her first two starts this preparation before going on to place in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) and win the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham in January.

“She won the Anniversary very nicely and showed a good turn of foot,” Kelso said. “She has got a lot of ability and this is her biggest test.”

Supera will jump from the ace barrier on Saturday with Michael Coleman aboard and Kelso said his charge should benefit from the likely track improvement before the Group One.

“She should get a nice trip from there,” he said. “She drew one when she won the Anniversary.

“The track should come back. It was a Slow7 on Tuesday and we have a beautiful day in the Waikato today (Wednesday) and the forecast looks okay, so I am hoping it will come back to a Dead4.

“It should be a nice track and hopefully she will be competitive.”

Kelso believes Group One winner Volpe Veloce will be hard to beat on Saturday, but he is looking forward to the challenge and will press on towards another black-type assignment with Supera if she pulls through Saturday’s run okay.

“I think the topweight, Volpe Veloce, is the horse to beat,” he said. “She’s proven and is a Group One winner.

“If Supera comes through Saturday well, she will probably go to the Travis (Gr.2, 2000m) two weeks later and then that will probably be her season.”

Kelso will also line-up two other runners at Te Aroha on Saturday, including Ginger King, who finished runner-up on debut, and four-win mare Veine D’Or.

“Ginger King ran a nice race at Rotorua first-up and I like the horse, it was a very good debut,” Kelso said.

“He has drawn a bit awkwardly at 15, but he should come into 10 hopefully. He is a lovely horse and I expect a nice run from him, I just wish he had drawn a little bit better.

“Veine D’Or, she was very consistent through the summer. I gave her a short break after her last run (at Tauranga in February), while the tracks were really firm.

“She had a month out in the paddock. She hasn’t had a trial this time back in, she’s resuming.

“She worked well on Tuesday morning, Michael Coleman galloped her and I’m very happy with her work. I think she will be competitive, she has got ability and she should get a nice trip from the draw (barrier 1).” – NZ Racing Desk


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