Talisker takes next step to Riccarton feature

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  • October 24, 2023
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By Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Promising three-year-old Talisker took the next step on his path to the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) next month with a convincing victory at Ashburton on Sunday.

Taken to the front by rider Sam Weatherley, the son of 2017 2000 Guineas winner Embellish, gave none of his age group rivals a look in as he maintained a powerful gallop on the tricky Heavy8 surface to win the Wide Span Sheds (1300m) by a comfortable length and a quarter margin.

The win was the third in a row for the Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained galloper who has thrived since being sent South to commence his build-up towards the Riccarton blue-riband feature on November 11.

“He is in a really good vein of form and is thriving at present,” Bergerson said.

“We haven’t given him a conventional 2000 Guineas prep, rather we wanted to see him get some wins on the board and get his confidence up.

“He still does a bit wrong and Sam said he didn’t really handle the track, which was pretty testing, but he was classy enough to get through it.”

Bergerson is keen to provide his charge with his chance in the 2000 Guineas, where he is rated a $12 Fixed Odds prospect behind hot favourite Crocetti ($1.60).

“Crocetti is definitely the benchmark for the Guineas, but we think our guy deserves his chance,” he said.

“He has the advantage that he is down there and acclimatised well whereas the others still have to cope with the travel.

“He loves to run handy which is an asset and if he could draw a barrier then he should be in the mix.”

Purchased by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis for $70,000 from the Karaka Book 1 Sale draft of Lansdowne Park, Talisker has now won three of his seven starts for the Te Akau Classic Edition Racing Partnership.

Bergerson also said that excitement was building at the stable as they counted down to star mare Imperatriz tackling the Gr.1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Saturday.

“Mark (Walker) is over there at the moment and said she (Imperatriz) is just flying,” he said.

“She will have a workout at The Valley on Tuesday morning and that should have her spot on for the weekend.

“The sable is really fizzing about how she is doing over there, and I know Opie (Bosson) is just itching to get over there and ride her this weekend, so hopefully it’s going to be a super day for everyone.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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