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Scott hoping for more from Geriatrix
Explosive finishes are becoming a habit for Geriatrix (Almanzor), and co-trainer Andrew Scott is hopeful the eye-catching colt can produce another in today’s Wellington Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Otaki. The son of Almanzor (Wootton Bassett) was an impressive maiden victor at Taupo in October and recorded the fastest 600-metre sectional of the entire Pukekohe meeting last-start when scorching into second behind Otaki race-rival Antrim Coast (Roc De Cambes). “We went to Pukekohe and he still raced with inexperience, but his final 600 metres was very pleasing in the way he quickened home and hit the line,” Scott, who trains the colt in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan, said. “It gave us some confidence that he’s looking for further now. While [the race is] another step up for him, we’ve got good confidence that he can continue going the right way. We’re hoping he can settle well. He’s got to learn to travel and come on from there.” Geriatrix is a $2.70 favourite with TAB bookmakers for today’s race, ahead of Antrim Coast at $4.20 and Zabmanzor (Almanzor) at $5.
Up The Anti to step up in grade
A successful first campaign will draw to a close today for future Group 1 hope Up The Anti (Divine Prophet) when the promising colt is stepped up in grade on his home track at Otaki in the Wellington Stakes. “He hasn’t done a lot wrong and is a no-nonsense horse who puts himself on the pace and he has a little Derby feel about him,” Johno Benner, who trains Up The Anti in partnership with Hollie Wynyard, said. “It’s probably his grand final for this preparation and he can have a couple of weeks on the grass and then hopefully set him for the Derby.” Raced by breeders John and Di Bowbyes, Up The Anti is the first foal out of the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) winner Bisou Bisou (Shaft) and has put together a tidy record of two wins from four appearances. “He’s probably the pace in the race and he gives 100 per cent and should give the race a good shake,” Benner added.
Dobbs hoping for more Cromwell success
Lionel Dobbs will trek south to Cromwell today with his entire race team of two ahead of their two-day meeting this weekend. Well-related mare Emanon (Burgundy) is set to contest the Clare Memorial Cup (1220m) tomorrow, with Youneverknow (Sacred Falls) due to run in the final race on the card, a Rating 65 contest over 2030 metres. Emanon, a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Legarto (Proisir), couldn’t add to her eight-win haul over New Zealand Cup week, finishing unplaced in both the Pegasus Stakes (Listed, 1000m) and Stewards’ Stakes (Listed, 1200m), but Dobbs believes the drop back from stakes grade should be a huge assist for the mare. “We went up to Cup week and all the North Islanders came down and there were some good horses there with the top jockeys, and we just couldn’t quite foot it with them,” he said. “At Cromwell she will be back in her class a bit and she should hold her own.” Dobbs is more hopeful than confident with Youneverknow. “We just need a bit of luck with Youneverknow,” he said. “I have always had a lot of time for her, she is a nice horse, but she just never has the right sort of run.”
Sindacato aiming for championship final spot
Sindacato (Per Incanto) will attempt to guarantee his place in next month’s Stella Artois 1500 Championship Final (1500m) at Pukekohe when the eight-year-old runs in a Rating 75 contest over 1600 metres at Wanganui tomorrow. “He has always shown us a lot,” the gelding’s trainer Roydon Bergerson said. “His last two runs have been a bit battling but he just needs to get his foot in the ground, if it moves around on him he is not the same horse. He trialled well yesterday [Tuesday] morning and he was full of himself [Wednesday] morning. He pulled up very well. He should run really well on Saturday. He has got a tricky draw  but we have got a good jockey [Johnathan Parkes], so he will work it out.”