Smart mare ready for Group One showdown

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  • March 28, 2024
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Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Quality performer Fashion Shoot has yet to win beyond 1400m, but the in-form mare’s camp is confident she can go the distance at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-prepared representative will step up to a mile in the hands of Opie Bosson in the Gr.1 NZEA New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m), having produced a flawless dress rehearsal.

Fashion Shoot defeated dual elite level winner Mustang Valley last time out at Tauranga and, despite a 3kg weight shift in favour of her race rival, another top showing is expected from the six-year-old.

She will spearhead a quartet of runners at the meeting with Bosson to also partner Puketiro and I Choose You in their undercard assignments while Vinnie Colgan will be aboard She Turns Heads.

“Fashion Shoot is in really good form and thriving on her racing. This is the time to have a crack at the trip,” Bergerson said.

“She’s drawn out a bit but she’s better ridden cold so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.

“She always tries her heart out and the key is to get her to settle. If she gets the splits, then I’m sure she can give it a good shake.

“The two favourites (La Crique and Mustang Valley) will be very hard to beat but we are happy with our mare.”

Fashion Shoot has the tidy record of seven wins, including the Gr.3 Canterbury Stakes (1400m) and 14 placings from 31 starts and a Group One credit will significantly boost her future broodmare value.

Stablemate Puketiro, also a daughter of Savabeel, hasn’t raced since November but is forward to return to action in the Fiber Fresh Handicap (1200m).

The winner of four of her seven starts, the four-year-old has trialled at Tauranga and Taupo ahead of her return.

“She’s always been above average and can get a bit fiery at times, but this time around she is going well,” Bergerson said.

“Hopefully, she will run well and we can get her to that Listed race (City of Napier Sprint, 1200m) at Otaki in a few weeks’ time.”

I Choose You will bid for two wins on the bounce in the Entain-NZB Pearl Series Final (1400m) after successfully resuming at Trentham earlier this month.

“She won really well and seems to be settling a lot better now,” Bergerson said.

“She was stakes placed as a two-year-old in the Eclipse Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m) and we’ve always thought highly of her, but she has been a bit disappointing since her two-year-old year.

“Her work at home has been super this time around and her galloped well on Tuesday so hopefully she can continue on from that first-up win.”

She Turns Heads is a consistent filly and makes strong each way appeal in the Barfoot & Thompson Handicap (1400m).

“She’s had 13 starts for a win and 10 placings so it was good to see her finally break through at Matamata and she ran well again at Tauranga,” Bergerson said.

“She has drawn wide (9), but we will ride her cold so it shouldn’t make any difference and hopefully she can put her hand up again.”


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