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Promising filly resumes at Tauranga

3 minute read

Cornelia made a bright start to her career with a pair of impressive performances during the summer, and the talented filly will add interest to the early part of Saturday’s Tauranga meeting when she resumes in the Gartshore Construction 3YO (1300m).

CORNELIA Picture: Race Images PN

Trained by Simon and Katrina Alexander at Te Awamutu, Cornelia scored a three-length trial win on her home track before heading to Taupo for her raceday debut on December 30. She produced more of the same over 1100m that day, kicking clear for a commanding victory by two and a quarter lengths.

Cornelia 's only other start came at Pukekohe on January 21, where she covered plenty of ground from her outside gate but fought hard down the straight for a gallant third.

The Alexanders took Cornelia back to the trials at Waipa on May 30, where she finished second in an open 850m heat.

Katrina Alexander has been pleased with the Swiss Ace filly's progress and expects her to cope with Saturday's heavy track conditions. However, the three-week gap between her trial and her raceday return could leave her vulnerable.

"She's certainly better than average and ran a couple of very nice races in that first preparation," Alexander said. "She showed some real grit in those performances as well.

"The long gap between her trial and this race is a bit of a worry for me, and particularly going into a 1300m race first-up. It may not sound like a big difference, but I'd be more comfortable if it was 1200m.

"She's going to take natural improvement from this run, but we've got to get her up and going. She's just had a few little niggles that we've had to get on top of, but I think we've got those sorted now and she's on the right track.

"This is a good chance to run her in three-year-old company, rather than having to go up against older horses.

"She's shown us in her work at home that she can handle wet ground. I think the soft range is probably where she's most comfortable, perhaps out to about a Heavy8, so I'm pleased that it's improved slightly after being a 10 earlier in the week."

Saturday's Flying Mullet Sports Bar (1200m) marks the return of Musigny Lass to the Alexander stable. The three-race winner is making her first start since September of 2022.

"We had her when she kicked off her career as a two-year-old, and then she went over to Ben Foote, and now she's back with us," Alexander said. "She's a real wet-tracker and has good ability.

"She's been off the scene for a long time. She had quite a severe paddock injury, which has taken a while to heal.

"The owners want to give her one more go. I've been pleased with her progress so far, but like Cornelia, she's probably going to take some benefit from a solid conditioning run."

The Alexanders' other runner at Tauranga on Saturday is last-start second placegetter Midnight Scandal in the Super Liquor Greerton (1400m).

"She's probably a better racehorse than her form line might suggest," Alexander said. "Her maiden win over this course and distance earlier in the season was very good.

"Her front-running style can make her a bit of a sitting duck on occasions. She's also had to race on a few firm tracks, which aren't really her go. She'll have more suitable conditions this week, and with the way the Belardos are going at the moment, I'm confident she'll run well."

Alexander reported that stable star La Crique has recently begun a month-long spell in Queensland. The high-class daughter of Vadamos was a last-start winner of the A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

"She had a few days in the paddock after that race, and then we put her back in the stable for three or four days, as much for the mental exercise as anything else," Alexander said.

"Then she left the stable on Tuesday to go to the spelling paddock, and she'll be there for a month. We'll probably go over in a couple of weeks to see how she's doing, and then we can make a plan for her next preparation."

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