By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
After a couple of false starts, Group One winner Prowess had her first public hit-out the season in an exhibition gallop alongside stablemate Contemplation at Matamata on Wednesday.
An abscess ruled her out of her first-up target, the Gr.1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) earlier this month, while a stone bruise resulted in her withdrawal from her trial at Taupo last Friday.
“She banged a hock a bit over a month ago,” said Robert Wellwood, who trains in partnership with Roger James.
“It was treated aggressively as well as we could, but it just didn’t resolve so we had to take more drastic matters, which meant she had a bandage on and couldn’t work for five days, so that stopped us from getting to her first-up target.
“We got over that and thought we were back on track, and she was meant to trial at Taupo last Friday prior to the races and unfortunately stood on a stone and put a puncture into her sole.
“We got the farrier there and tidied it up and she is right now.
“We have had niggly little setbacks. They haven’t been major things and have only stopped us for three or four days, but it has been at pretty crucial times.
“Hopefully we are back on track now and we can stop using that word ‘setback’.”
It has been a frustrating time for her connections, but they were pleased to see her back on track on Wednesday.
“It is great to be here and have her back at a track. We have got a beautiful surface here and it was a great opportunity,” Wellwood said.
“We were very happy with the work she did. She has had a good blow from that and it is going to bring her along nicely.”
Originally set to contest the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley next month, her trainers have been forced to change tack with their spring plans with the mare and will give her one run in New Zealand before heading offshore.
“At this stage (her first-up run will be) on October 7 at Hawera in the Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1400m), but if the weather is terrible, there is a fillies and mares 1400m race at Flemington on the same day,” Wellwood said.
“We would rather stay here and give her her first-up run and the weight-for-age conditions suit her better weight-wise. We can then bring her back to her box for two to three weeks before we look to put her on a plane.
“We are still hoping to be there Cox Plate Day, albeit not in the Cox Plate. Another weight-for-age Group Two mile, which will give her a look around The Valley and it will be a good race for her three weeks after her first-up run.
“All going well, we would love to be at the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival for the 2000m Champions Stakes (Gr.1).”
Wellwood was also pleased with the work of Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) runner-up Contemplation.
“He had his first-up run and still looked quite pretty when he came back from it, so it was a good opportunity for him today to have a good hit-out on a good surface,” he said.
“He can be a bit casual at home, so it was good. He worked up well outside of Prowess and he pulled up very cleanly.
“There are multiple options coming up for him in the next two or three weeks. We have just got to sit down after today and work out where we head.
“All going well, we will head down to Christchurch with him for the New Zealand Cup (Gr.3, 3200m).” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk