Orchestral returning to happy hunting ground

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  • February 16, 2024
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Orchestral returning to happy hunting ground


Roger James and Robert Wellwood are still in awe of what Orchestral produced when winning last month’s $1.5 million TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) at Ellerslie, and the Cambridge trainers are looking forward to stepping her out once more at the Auckland venue on Saturday.

The talented daughter of Savabeel put in a dominant display when winning New Zealand’s richest race by 3-1/2 lengths, giving her connections a huge thrill on New Zealand racing’s biggest night.

“I don’t think anybody who went there that day was expecting something quite like that. I was pretty happy to see it and even more happy that she has progressed since,” James told TAB NZ.

James believes she will continue to thrive over further ground and will test that theory in the Gr.2 Eagle Technology Avondale Guineas (2100m) this weekend.

“The more that we do get to know her, she is a nice breathing mare, which is suitable for distance racing,” he said. “It is what she was put on this earth to do, she doesn’t appear to take a lot of work to keep her ready, which is wonderful.”

Stablemate Dionysus will continue his comeback a race later in the Gr.2 Eagle Technology Avondale Cup (2400m).

The son of Ocean Park finished fourth in the race last year and has developed a consistent Cups record over the last 12 months, culminating in winning the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m) last December.

He subsequently spent some time on the sidelines before returning to contest the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) at New Plymouth earlier this month. While he finished ninth, James said it has brought him on nicely for Saturday’s contest.

“Dionysus sustained quite a significant foot injury after his Waikato Cup win and had some considerable time off,” James said. “I take no notice of his run at Taranaki last week, it was always going to be a get ready run. He has come through it well and he will be ready for the Avondale Cup.”

Dionysus could be joined in the Avondale Cup by stablemate Roccia, who requires one scratching to make it into the 18-strong field. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk


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