Sweet mares top Tauherenikau chances

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  • February 08, 2024
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Sugah Sweet has been acquitting herself well, despite having little luck in strong company this preparation, and she looks well-placed to turn her fortunes around at Tauherenikau on Tuesday.

The patiently handled six-year-old will represent trainer Bryce Newman in the Listed Clubs NZ @ The Races Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) while stablemate Love For All also looms as a strong hope in the TAB Bonus Back Wairarapa Cup (2050m).

Sugah Sweet opened her current campaign with a Rating 75 sprint win and has subsequently run fourth in the Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) and the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m), both times from outside gates.

“We’ve been rapt with her, and it’s just been the draws that have held her up. It’s been a hard gig for her to overcome but she’s still gone great,” Newman said.

“She’s rock hard fit now, she didn’t do much in the spring and we’ve brought her up for these races.

“She is as good as we can get her and with a nice draw at seven it’s up to the mare now. Hopefully, Ryan (Elliot, jockey) can get a nice trip on her.”

The Zacinto mare has fashioned a tidy record with four wins and 10 placings from her 18 appearances.

“She’s a homebred horse and didn’t start off early, she was an immature filly and she didn’t do too much at three,” Newman said.

“She was late to get going and she doesn’t do off tracks either, she won on a Soft 6 one day but she’s not comfortable on it and definitely better on firm ground.

“We don’t need to keep pumping races into her, she’s very honest and goes well every time we’ve presented her.

“We have protected her a bit as she’s a mare we want to get some more black type with and then breed from her.”

Newman is also keen to step Sugah Sweet out over more distance this time around.

“There’s quite a few options coming up for mares at this time of the year, possibly this could be her last run at a mile,” he said.

“She’s never run at 2000m so maybe we might finish off in the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 2000m) or the Travis Stakes (Gr.2, 2000m).”

Meanwhile, Love For All will take a major step back in class in the Cup after finishing a last-start eighth, but only three lengths off the winner, in the Anniversary.

A good surface will further boost her prospects, as will rider Jim Chung’s 3kg allowance.

“We’re really happy with her and she just can’t handle any wet ground at all,” Newman said.

“This is the first time that Love For All has been in this grade for two years, obviously she’s topweight (60kg) so we’ve claimed back a bit.

“She’s not at the elite level at a mile and she went awesome in the Breeders last year in her first run at 2000m so it’s a good opportunity for her.

“She is in the twilight of her career, but she has been a super mare and has a couple of pieces of black type.”

Love For All is also a four-time winner and along with her Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes third she also finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) in her younger days. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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