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Raziah out to continue fillies Castletown record

3 minute read

Fillies have dominated recent editions of the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m), and Tony Pike is hoping Raziah can be next on the honour roll this Saturday at Wanganui.

ELIUD Picture: Race Images PN

Raziah debuted in a competitive juvenile race at Pukekohe in April and showed immediate improvement from that effort with a storming run into second behind race-rival Connello at Taranaki on May 11.

"She's a filly we've always really liked. Her run fresh-up was good without a lot of luck and she obviously improved off that, having a tough trip at Taranaki but closing off the race really strongly late," Pike said.

"She's come on well from her last start and her work on the wet grass track at Cambridge through the week suggests she should handle the conditions reasonably well.

"That gives us some confidence heading down to Wanganui, and we're obviously hoping to get some black-type for her."

The filly is a half-sister to Drakaina, who won the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui in March before being sold to Western Australia, and races in the colours of breeders The Oaks Stud.

"It most likely will be the last start for her before a spell, but we'll get through Saturday and talk to Rick Williams before making any plans," Pike said.

Joining Raziah on the journey from Cambridge is Eliud , a dominant last-start winner over 1400m who will contest the Property Brokers 3YO 1600, with Michael McNab engaged to ride both stablemates.

"He's a horse that has always shown ability, but just taken time to mature," Pike said.

"He's growing into a lovely big horse now, and he was dominant in a weak race at Taranaki and looks to have improved off that. I'd say he should be hard to beat, and stepping up to the mile should be ideal."

Pike will also have representatives further north on Saturday at Pukekohe Park, and he indicated Trelawney Stud mare Acquarello would be one to watch come spring.

"She's a mare we really like going forward into next season but it's probably not ideal track conditions for her on Saturday, she's handled a genuine soft track at Te Rapa but the heavy is a little bit of a mystery," Pike said.

"We do think she can go through the grades quite quickly, and it would be nice to get her rating up on Saturday before coming back for some of the better carnival meetings in the spring."

The daughter of Written Tycoon will aim to go back-to-back in the Elsdon Park 1400, while Maldini will also chase a consecutive success in the SkyCity Horizon 1600.

"He (Maldini) has done a fair bit wrong in his races, but he's just starting to put things together now and his record is pretty good," Pike said.

"He won pretty dominantly last start so he'll get plenty of confidence out of that, so as long as the inside of the track is holding up well from gate one, he should go close to winning again."

Recent stable addition Delz Abeel will run on debut in the TAB NZ 1200, alongside Revualto, who was well-favoured at his first start but resented the kick-back at Te Rapa.

"I've only had Delz Abeel for a very short time, just a couple of weeks as Annabelle Johnson prepared him for Bruce Dell (owner)," Pike said.

"His trials appeared very solid, obviously I don't know a lot about him yet but his work through the week has been good and it looks like a nice race to kick off his career on Saturday.

"Kelly (Myers, jockey) has ridden him at the trials so she probably knows more about the horse than I do, he looks to have reasonably good gate speed so he should settle in a handy position which is always beneficial on a heavy track over a short distance. We'll leave it up to her from there.

"I've put blinkers on Revualto for Saturday, he trialled up really well but he got three-back the fence at Te Rapa and really resented the kick-back. He wasn't travelling a long way from home.

"He seems to handle these track conditions reasonably well, it's probably not the ideal barrier draw (2) for him but I'd expect an improved performance."

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