Weather puts Sydney on radar for smart filly

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  • February 02, 2023
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A lucrative Plan B might come into play for stakes-winning filly Polygon with connections considering a trip to Australia for the in-form three-year-old.

A start for the daughter of Highly Recommended in Friday’s Gr.2 Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (2000m) is highly uncertain with the Te Rapa track currently offering a heavily rain-affected surface after a period of atrocious weather.

Trainer Lance Noble said the odds looked against the Cambridge Stud-bred and raced Polygon taking her place and the weather outlook for Waikato was also far from encouraging.

“It’s looking very doubtful that she will run on Friday, if it stays as a Heavy 9 or worse then no, she won’t. The forecast isn’t that good either,” he said.

“We are looking at a couple of other options, there is the David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (Gr.2, 2000m) on March 11, but that’s not ideal because she hasn’t had a run since New Year’s Day.

“At the moment, we are looking at Australia and if she doesn’t run on Friday, then she could go to Sydney.”

Should the overseas venture come into play, Polygon would make her Australian debut in the Gr.3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 10.

“Then there’s the Vinery Stud Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) at Rosehill two weeks later and then another two weeks to the Australian Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) at Randwick,” Noble said.

“That’s not set in concrete yet and we are looking at our options, but Friday is very doubtful and the forecast even for next week isn’t that good.”

Polygon won the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) two runs back at Te Rapa and returned there to claim the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m), which provided unexpected encouragement that the filly could perform at the Classic distance.

“I didn’t nominate her early on for the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) because she didn’t look like a stayer,” Noble said.

“I was doubtful that she would go 2000m, but she ran it out strongly on New Year’s Day and (rider) Michael McNab said she took an age to pull up. She is one that has definitely surprised us.”

Polygon will be the only runner from the stable to head to Australia should the trip go ahead with the progressive mare Aquacade to chase higher honours at home.

“You could say she could go over as well for the Sydney Cup (Gr.1, 3200m), but I think she is a year away and she hasn’t had many starts,” Noble said.

Also bred and raced by Cambridge Stud, the Dundeel mare has won four of her 10 appearances and last time out at Te Rapa the four-year-old produced a strong staying performance to triumph in the Dunstan Feeds Stayers’ Championship Final (2400m).

“Aquacade will run in the open 2100m at Tauranga on Sunday as a lead-up to the Avondale Cup (Gr.2, 2400m) and then hopefully the Auckland Cup (Gr.2, 3200m),” Noble said.

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