Leading New Zealand trainer Jamie Richard will look to head to the All-Star Mile third-up with star mare Probabeel.
Probabeel was one of a number of stars that trialled for Richards at Matamata on Tuesday, with 11-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle among the 32 horses the stable took for a hit out.
It was a pleasing effort from Probabeel, who went on to win her 800m ahead of stablemate and fellow Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned filly Kahma Lass.
Both Probabeel and Kahma Lass will head to Australia, Richards confirmed.
“I was really pleased with the way they trialled, particularly Probabeel over half a mile,” Richards said.
“I legged Opie (Bosson, jockey) up and said ‘don’t let her bludge around, make her do a little bit’.
“She has got plenty of condition and weight on and I thought she trialled really well. That stands us in good stead to head off to Australia.
“She will kick-off in a 1200m race and then she will run in a 1400m, there are a couple of options there for her, and then she will be third-up into the mile in the All-Star.
“Kahma Lass will go to Sydney. She will trial at Randwick on the course proper and she will run first-up in the Light Fingers (Gr.2, 1200m).”
Probabeel is an $11 third favourite for the All-Star Mile.
Melody Belle headed into her 1200m heat with plenty of condition, but pleased Richards with her runner-up effort ahead of her Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) target later this month.
“Melody Belle looked pretty big and burly before the start,” Richards said.
“She has got a bit of tightening up to do yet. A big, strong hit-out like that will bring her on and we have got enough time to give her an exhibition gallop before we head to the Thorndon first-up.”
Melody Belle was beaten by stablemate Amarelinha, who is currently a $2.40 second favourite with TAB bookmakers behind Aegon for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
“She (Amarelinha) trialled nicely,” Richards said. “She was there for a nice hit-out. She will head to the Karaka Million Mile in 11 days, so that will bring her along nicely.
“She is going to be going as good as she can to be competitive in a high-quality race like that.
“She has trained on well since her win on Boxing Day (Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic, 1600m) and does appear to be going well.”
– NZ Racing Desk