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Ali Baba Eyes Group One Prize

The Ballymore NZ team will only have one sole representative to line up at Riccarton on Saturday, headed by Group 1 2000 Guineas contender Ali Baba, while Rotorua on Friday and Te Rapa on Saturday will boast a seven strong team.

Rising Son is the first to line up at Rotorua when he takes his place in the maiden event over 1400m, and is unlucky not to be running in a 65 event after receiving no clear air at his last start at Waipa.

“He’s drawn a gate and he should receive a nice run in transit. With a bit of luck he can right the wrong at his start and break his maiden today.” Co-trainer Chad Ormsby said.

Impressive last start winner Ruby Armani will attempt to remain unbeaten when she lines up in a strong Rating 65 Fillies and Mares event over 1200, while Alysha Collett retains the ride on the three-year-old daughter by Makfi.

“She’s trained on well and from the gate we are expecting her be handy and if she has improved as much as we think she has, she’ll be competitive at the business end of the race.”

The last runner at Rotorua is the promising stayer Messi who will have his first start for the Ballymore team, and has been working well in the stable ahead of his assignment over 1950m today.

“He’s a nice horse that has given me a good feel. Whatever he does today he will take some natural improvement and we’ll be able to get a good line on him.”

Onto Saturday and Ali Baba, by all accounts, has arrived and settled in at Riccarton nicely. He jumps from barrier five in the Gr.1 2000 Guineas over 1600m and regular rider Grant Cooksley stays in the saddle.

The striking son of Savabeel has trained on well following his eye-catching fourth in the Sarten Memorial and the step up to 1600m is going to suit him to the ground.

“He’s very well and we couldn’t be happier with him heading into tomorrow. He has trained on extremely well following his last start and he will relish the step up to 1600m.”

Onto to Te Rapa and Starstripe will be hoping to go one better after going down narrowly at the same venue on Labour day. She draws a touch wide, but has always possessed good gate speed which will assist her in tomorrow’s race.

“It has taken a couple of runs to her fit this time in, but she only has to reproduce her performance on Labour day to be a very strong winning chance,” Ormsby said.

The Heat Is On is another on the improve as he steps up to 1600m at his second race day outing, and has the services of Alysha Collett in the maiden 3YO event.

“He’s a nice stayer in the making and he will take a stack of natural improvement from tomorrow’s race. I really rate him and he has a future as a top stayer.”

All Knitted Up is another Ormsby thinks highly of, although has taken longer to get the son of Mastercraftsman race fit.

“He is better for his last run, but he carries a lot of condition and he’s just blowing out on his races.”

“He’s another that will take great benefit for tomorrow’s outing and is another nice staying prospect.”

The Fire Inside will have her first run this preparation when she lines up in the Rating 75 event over 1400m and apprentice jockey Ulrika Holmquist has been engaged for riding duties.

“She looks fantastic and has given me a very good feel this time in,” Ormsby said.
“She may find the 1400m a touch too short, but I would be more than happy to see her hit the line strongly in the closing stages. We are hopeful of a fruitful campaign this preparation.”

Last, and certainly not least, is the inform Flavigny who heads back to Te Rapa for the Raitng 65 event over 1400m and has trained on extremely well following her last start third at Ellerslie.

“Couldn’t fault her work and the firmer the ground the better, which is what she is likely to get on Saturday.”

“We’ve always had plenty of time for this mare, and if she can win tomorrow, we will look at something like the Auckland Breeders Stakes in a couple of weeks.”

[06 Nov 15]


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