New Zealand-based trainer Ken Kelso has revealed that talented filly Bounding will be set for the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Bounding has shown plenty of talent since making her debut as a two-year-old in 2012 and finished second in both the Group 2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile before winning the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 James & Annie Sarten Stakes (1400m) as a three-year-old.
The Lonhro filly was narrowly denied a maiden win at Group level after being caught wide throughout the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park, but she was able to bounce back and become the first filly to win the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) in 33 years at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
After winning the Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 8, Bounding made her Australian racing debut in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) and she looked the winner with 150 metres left to run, but was denied in the final stages of the race by Sidestep.
Bounding was sent to the spelling paddock after returning to New Zealand before beginning preparations for a return to Australia and a tilt at both the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington on November 8.
“She’s been back in work nearly a month and she’s coming along really well,” Kelso told The New Zealand Racing Desk.
“I’ll just play it by ear with her.
“Whether she kicks off here or goes straight to Australia, it’s probably really just down to track conditions.
“It’s hard to set a programme for horses at this time of year here, but the plan is to get her to Australia for the two Group One sprints in Melbourne.
“It all hinges on how she’s coming up, but if we go straight to Australia, she’ll probably have a trial here first.
“Otherwise we’ll try and find a suitable 1200-metre race here for her before we go.”
While New Zealand-trained horses have had plenty of success in races like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) they have had less success in the feature sprinting races during the Spring Racing Carnival.
Champion mare Sunline (2000m) was the last Kiwi galloper to win the Manikato Stakes, while a New Zealand-trained horse has not been successful in the VRC Sprint Classic since Graeme Rogerson won with Pharein in 1999.