Prendergast welcoming sunny forecast

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  • October 10, 2023
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Like many trainers around the country, Vicki Prendergast has been frustrated by the wet weather of late, but is welcoming the sunny forecast leading into the final leg of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival at Hastings on Saturday.

The Matamata trainer is set to head south this weekend with her Group One performer Our Alley Cat, who will be vying to break through for her maiden stakes victory in the Gr.3 Valley D’Vine Restaurant Spring Sprint (1400m).

“We have just been waiting for some good weather, so hopefully the weather gods shine on Hawke’s Bay,” Prendergast said.

“We can’t get too excited until it’s actually sunny on the day, but I am pretty hopeful that we will get a good track.”

The seven-year-old mare had a pleasing preparation earlier this year where she placed in the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m), Gr.3 Kings Plate (1200m), and Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).

She returned to beat a star-studded line-up in a 1100m trial at Taupo in August, which included Group One winners Imperatriz and Legarto, before finishing fourth first-up on an unsuitable rain-affected track at Ruakaka last month.

Prendergast has been playing weather watch since then and is looking forward to getting her mare’s spring preparation back on track this weekend.

“She is really well, but you never know when they get a little bit older,” she said.

“It has been a shame that we have had a bit of wet weather lately and she has got a little bit fat, but we gave her an exhibition gallop at Matamata the other day and she has come on nicely from that. Hopefully that will have tightened her up a little bit.”

With Our Alley Cat in the twilight of her racing career, Prendergast said the broodmare paddock is awaiting the daughter of Atlante if she doesn’t perform up to expectations this weekend.

“At her age, and she isn’t the soundest horse anymore, we will see how she pulls up after Saturday,” she said.

“If she says she doesn’t want to do it anymore then she will be off to see a stallion.”

However, Prendergast is hopeful of a good showing and is eager to head towards the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie in January, a race Our Alley Cat has been twice runner-up.

“We will probably do the same thing we did last year and head towards the Westbury at Christmas time,” Prendergast said.

“She so deserves to win it.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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