Trainer Ken Kelso is delighted with the condition of Bounding heading into the 2014 Royal Sovereign Stakes, but admits that the talented filly is the unknown quantity in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Bounding finished an unlucky second behind Costa Viva in the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park on November 16 and stamped herself as one of the best three-year-olds in New Zealand with a tough front-running win in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, but Kelso told The New Zealand Racing Desk that he is unsure how that form will stack up in the Royal Sovereign Stakes this weekend.
“It is a bit of unknown and it is hard to get a line on them,” Kelso said
“She is probably the best three-year-old sprinter here, but until you go there and you match them up you can’t really know.
“She has a lot of ability and she proved that against the older horses.
“All you can do is go over there in the best order that you can and if you have a nice run, you will find out.”
While Kelso is unsure how Bounding stacks up against some of the best three-year-old colts in Australia, the Matamata-based trainer is confident that the daughter of Lonhro is going into the Royal Sovereign Stakes in excellent condition.
Bounding returned to the races with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 8 and Kelso said that she has impressed in trackwork coming out of her first-up win.
“She is very well at the moment, she is jumping out of her skin, and I can’t be happier with the way that she is going over there,” Kelso said.
“She has worked up good and Mark made a special trip down to Matamata on Monday and galloped her on the course proper and we were both delighted with her work.”
The Royal Randwick track is currently rated a heavy 9 by Australian Turf Club officials and, despite the fact Bounding won the Railway Stakes on a slow track, Kelso is hoping that the track improves before the running of the Royal Sovereign Stakes on Saturday.
“The Railway wasn’t a wet track, but it was a slow track by the time the Railway came around and she hasn’t raced on a heavy track, so that it is a little bit of a concern,” Kelso said.
“They all have to go through it and hopefully the weather will pick up.”
Bounding has been the best-backed runner in 2014 Royal Sovereign Stakes betting markets and is now available at odds of $5.50 for the Group 2 event.