By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
Dual top-flight winner Prowess took her first steps toward another trip across the Tasman when she enjoyed a quiet trial at Te Rapa on Tuesday.
Given the heavy going, the multiple elite level winner was kept under a tight rein by jockey Warren Kennedy and allowed to run home under her own steam for a narrow victory in her 900m heat.
Prowess was quickly into stride to sit in fourth spot before she improved wide near the turn and finished off well under hands and heels riding.
“We were very happy with her trial as the ground was a bit wet and not to her liking,” said Robert Wellwood, who trains the mare with Roger James.
“Warren came back and he was very pleased, so she did everything we wanted.”
Prowess is likely to kick off her spring campaign in the Gr.1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
“We’ve still got plenty of time up our sleeve and it was a nice stretch of the legs for her and she pulled up well. We’re right on target,” Wellwood said.
“She probably won’t trial again and may have a race day gallop somewhere at some point. We’ll just see how she comes through this before firming anything up.
“At this stage, the Memsie is pencilled in as a kick-off race and there are just so many options for her.
“It will all depend on how she is racing and doing, we don’t have to be too stuck on any plan at the moment.”
Prowess has won seven of her nine starts and is unbeaten this year, claiming the Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2050m) at the expense of older opposition to end her domestic preparation before she went to Sydney to triumph in the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
Stablemates Contemplation and Diagon Alley were also in action at the Te Rapa trials and, despite the pair finishing unplaced in their respective 900m open heats, pleased Wellwood.
“I thought Contemplation’s trial was very good and Warren said he really worked to the line well,” he said.
“He’s a staying horse and was against some pretty sharp horses, we’re happy with the way he has come back.”
The son of So You Think is a two-time winner and showed his staying potential earlier this year when he finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m).
Barnmate Dionysus finished third in the Wellington feature off the back of his win in the Gr.3 Queen Elizabeth Cup (2400m) and his preparation will be stepped up in the coming weeks.
“He’s just a step behind and will be out in the next month or so,” Wellwood said.
Charm Spirit mare Diagon Alley was successful in an age group event at Otaki during her summer campaign and was spelled following an unplaced run in the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
“Diagon Alley was good too, she was a two-win horse against some pretty smart ones in the trial so she’s coming up nicely as well,” Wellwood said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk