An excited Clayton Chipperfield is preparing for the biggest day of his training career with favourites in both New Zealand features on Saturday.
Chipperfield will produce London Bound as a $2.50 favourite in the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki, while Obsessive is a $3 favourite in the RSA Taumarunui Gold Cup (2200m) at Rotorua.
"They are putting the pressure on me making both of them favourites," Chipperfield quipped.
"I've only had Our Sequoia in a Waikato Guineas (Gr.2, 2000m) run in a stakes race for me and that didn't end well (finishing 11th) so we're hoping for a lot better results this time around. It's a nice position to be in, having two good chances in the day's main races at two different venues."
While he won three stakes races in partnership with Robert Priscott, a period that produced 41 of Chipperfield's 54 wins as a trainer, it's clear a black-type win would be a special moment in the 39-year-old’s solo career.
Bred and raced by one of the stable's main supporters, Martin Dalgleish, London Bound proved she had the credentials to make the step up in grade with a seven-length debut win over previous-start Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) winner Flaunting at Te Rapa.
"It was a huge win. We've always held a high opinion of her - I've thought she's on par with (promising stablemate) Catalyst - but to win like she did, I wasn't really expecting that," Chipperfield said.
"To beat a stakes winner in that manner on debut was a pretty big statement from our filly and though the second horse didn't get all favours the way the race was run, our horse was pretty impressive.
"I said to Martin she was worthy of a crack at black-type after that. Her mum died last year so if we can get black-type on Saturday, she's got it forever and we're hoping she's good enough to do that.
"I'd be rapt if she could run in the first three so she can get that black-type but I wouldn't be surprised if she won. She pulled up 100 percent from her Te Rapa win and I galloped her Tuesday morning on a sticky course proper and she loved it.
"That was my concern going down to Otaki on a drying track but on the way she worked on Tuesday, I don't think there'll be any problem."
Chipperfield described London Bound as a "big, strong Proisir filly" capable of becoming a Classic performer at three.
"She will have a quick break after Saturday, probably two or three weeks in the paddock, and then we'll look towards the 1000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m). She's got the class and I don't think the extra distance will worry her at all," said Chipperfield, adding that London Bound's two-year-old half-brother by Showcasing was shaping well and would trial early next season as education for a Karaka Million preparation.
Chipperfield was delighted with Obsessive ahead of the Taumarunui Cup as the Darci Brahma four-year-old looks to extend his winning sequence to three in his biggest test so far.
"He's never finished further back than fifth and he's won his last two. While he's only had 10 starts, he's been around a while, in and out of the stable," Chipperfield said.
"He's got bad legs and had a lot of growing issues so we kept giving him time out. While he didn't race for 12 months, he was never injured and he did have a couple of preparations.
"He's pulled up super from his win at New Plymouth last weekend. He jumped out perfectly and it was just a crawl and sprint. The only concern is the step up to 2200m for the first time but he's tough and the way he won at New Plymouth, I don't think it should be any problem. He's certainly not a horse to lie down." - NZ Racing Desk