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A double-handed attack on the Gr.3 Mitchell Family Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) highlights a busy day for the Wexford Stables team on their home track at Matamata on Saturday.
The training partnership of Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott will saddle up the Group Two-placed gelding Dark Destroyer and the exciting filly Karman Line in what looks like a good field of three-year-olds.
Karman Line made plenty of people take notice in her only race to date, striking traffic problems on the turn before unleashing a powerful sprint to win a maiden at Te Aroha on November 9.
O'Sullivan has a high opinion of the filly but warned her lack of experience would count against her in the Bonecrusher Stakes.
"She's just a learner, but it's her home track so that should help," he said.
"We're hoping to run in the better three-year-old fillies races later in the season but the timing worked out well to run her here."
Dark Destroyer won his second start, a maiden at Taupo, prior to finishing third in the Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) and fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
"He ran well there and he's come through the run very well," O'Sullivan said. "His experience will help him here."
Dark Destroyer is nominated for the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March and O'Sullivan said he was hopeful the gelding would handle 2000m at least.
"His run at Te Rapa suggested he will get further than a mile," O'Sullivan said.
"We'll just get this run out of the way and see what he does before deciding what his targets wil be."
Also set for Matamata this weekend is the Wexford team's sprinter Summer Passage, a Group One winner as a juvenile in 2017, who resumes for the season in an open 1200m race.
Wexford's other runners at Matamata include Highlighter in a Rating 65 1200m event, Gone With The Wind and Fast Willie in a Rating 65 1500m event, and Sonofabutcher in a Rating 74 1400m event.
Meanwhile, the team's good five-year-old Dragon Leap is training well and is likely to race next at Te Rapa on December 11 in the Gr.3 J Swap Sprint (1400m).
It will be his first start since he finished fifth in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 18, his sole start so far this season.
"He's had a foot problem but he's coming along really well heading towards Te Rapa," O'Sullivan said.The multiple Group Two winner will be aimed at 1600m races over summer, with the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day the first major target.