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Auret’s trump card ready to play at Riccarton

3 minute read

Fraser Auret couldn’t find any reason not to send his ultra consistent filly Race Ace south to chase down a deserved black-type victory.

RACE ACE Picture: Race Images PN

The Marton trainer can't fault the three-year-old, who will again be partnered by Lisa Allpress in Saturday's Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.

"It's always a case of race by race with these fillies and I was certainly mindful that she has had a big season and there's only so many times you can ask these young girls to peak," Auret said.

"Her work has indicated that she is really well in herself and there's no signs whatsoever that she has come to the end of things, so that's the reason she's headed south."

Race Ace  was a gallant last-start fifth under Allpress in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham off the back off a runner-up finish in the Gr.2 Lowland Stakes (2000m).

"She ran a really creditable race in the Oaks and I think she's a lot more suited to the 2000m than 2400m," Auret said.

"It wasn't the perfect preparation for the Oaks with the rescheduled Lowland Stakes at Taupo popping up seven days beforehand.

"She ran an enormous second in the Lowland and we had been 50-50 whether we should go there, but any black type is so important and it was well worth it."

Race Ace has one win to her credit from 10 attempts, but a further six placings emphasises her genuine nature.

"She's had a wonderful preparation and been right up there all the way through her campaign, she's had a really solid season," Auret said.

He has had several cracks at lifting the Warstep title and came closest in 2021 when his charge had the misfortune to bump into a Stephen Marsh-trained filly who was to go on to multiple Group One success for Chris Waller.

"It's a race that has eluded me before, we were second with Exquisite Pearl one year when Atishu won it and have had a couple of other goes," Auret said.

Race Ace travelled without incident to Christchurch earlier this week.

"She went down on Tuesday night and has settled in well so it's full steam ahead," Auret said.

"She's staying at Sam Wynne's property and we've stayed there before and she's a terrific horsewoman in her own right so it works really well."

Race Ace is a daughter of Swiss Ace and the American stakes performer Megan's Tough Love, a pedigree that may not have immediately instilled confidence in her middle-distance prospects.

"She ran second in O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes (Listed, 1340m) at Wanganui in the early part of the season and I definitely felt then that she was more of a sprinter," Auret said.

"I just think with experience and becoming more relaxed she has got over more ground, it's down to her attitude more than anything else.

"She just loves stable life and the job, she's been a pleasure to train, that's for sure."

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