Sharp filly taking on the mares in Rotorua Stakes

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  • May 09, 2024
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Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Talented three-year-old Impendabelle will step out of age group company for the first time in her season’s grand final on Saturday at Arawa Park.

The daughter of Impending has been a model of consistency this term, with success in the Gr.2 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) headlining a campaign that included a pair of Group One placings in the Levin Classic (1600m) and New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

Tony Pike, who prepares Impendabelle out of Cambridge, gave the filly a brief spell through the early autumn and she added further black-type to her page first-up in the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), won by I’munstoppable.

Pike indicated the filly’s last contest of a successful season would come in Saturday’s Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m), where she will benefit from weight-for-age conditions.

“She went well running third fresh-up in the Cambridge Breeders’, she’ll take plenty of improvement from that with the step-up to 1400 definitely being an advantage,” he said.

“This will be her last run for her three-year-old season, she’s been super consistent all the way through.

“She obviously comes up against the older horses, but she’s had a great season and it would be great to cap it off with a win on Saturday.”

Pike will also be represented in the Listed Campbell Infrastructure Rotorua Cup (2200m) with Val Di Zoldo, last year’s Gr.2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) winner who has struck misfortune on several major occasions this season.

Most recently, the War Decree mare was in front for a large portion of the Te Rapa straight when contesting the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) before jockey Wiremu Pinn’s stirrup leather became detached and the pair finished an eventual fourth, just 0.4 lengths from race winner Apostrophe.

“She was desperately unlucky in the Travis Stakes, arguably could’ve won that having got clear on straightening before Wiremu lost his iron at the 200m mark, and she ducked in when he became unbalanced,” Pike said.

“She was only beaten a very narrow margin into fourth, which was unfortunate for the connections.

“The Cup will be her last race this preparation and she will get in a lot better in the weights, and if she runs up to her form in her last couple of starts, she should be hard to beat.”

Before heading to Rotorua, Pike will have a sole runner at Matamata on Wednesday in Maldini, who was an impressive maiden winner that never saw clear air last start at Pukekohe.

The Tarzino four-year-old will contest the Carrfields Livestock 1600 with Michael McNab in the saddle.

“He had no luck last start at Counties and has been delayed a run since then missing a start at Te Rapa,” Pike said.

“He’s a lightly-raced horse who is starting to put together a nice form line now, and he should be hard to beat from a good draw (4) on Wednesday.”


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