Youth versus experience in Group One for Wexford Stables

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  • March 27, 2024
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Youth versus experience in Group One for Wexford Stables

Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

It will be a case of youth versus experience at Ellerslie this Saturday when Wexford Stables lines-up their two representatives in the Gr.1 NZEA New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).

Three-year-old filly Grail Seeker will test her talents at weight-for-age for the first time after being a consistent force against her age group this season, while five-year-old mare Karman Line will be seeking her first stakes scalp.

Grail Seeker, a daughter of Iffraaj, has accrued an enviable record of two wins and four placings from her eight starts to date, including victory in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham earlier this month.

Her win in the Trentham Classic wasn’t a surprise to her trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, with the filly having already placed in the Listed Trevor & Corallie Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m), Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m), and Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m).

She will be two years the junior of her next youngest rival on Saturday, and while her handlers are very aware of the challenge ahead of her, they believe she is up to the task.

“Grail Seeker put in a very strong performance last start. She has travelled home from Wellington and had a good few days out on the farm, she has been back in the barn and she has continued to do very well,” Scott said.

“She has run well over the mile. We are taking the opportunity with a fit and sound filly, who is in good form, to take her place in the Group One. This is quite a step up. We think she is capable of getting to this level, it’s just whether it’s this preparation or next preparation.”

Karman Line also takes solid form into Saturday’s feature, having won the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) at Matamata last month before finishing fourth over 1400m at Tauranga last start.

The daughter of Myboycharlie finished fifth in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes last year and her trainers are hoping for a better result in this year’s running.

“We think she will run better this year, we think she is in better form going in,” Scott said.

“Her last run was good and she was in the mix with some of these. We know that she has got to lift a little, but she has been improving right through the preparation and she certainly warrants another go at this race.

“Her work on Tuesday morning suggests she is going as good as she has all her career thus far, which she needs to be in order to be competitive, and we are confident that she is going to be competitive.”


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