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Exciting Weekend Ahead for Team Ballymore

With three runners at our own local course on Friday (Matamata) and a further five runners on Saturday at Tauranga and Trentham, the team is excited for a strong showing with several very good winning chances!

Friday will see the three-year-old daughter by Thorn Park, Thoughtful, have her third career start and while she may have not been suited to how the race was run last start at Taupo, she steps up to the favourable 2000m on her home course.

“She’s drawn well and has the services of leading jockey Matthew Cameron,” co-trainer Chad Ormsby said.

“The step up in distance will help her and she’s continually improving. If she can replicate her first start efforts she will be competitive.”

The second runner is the well regarded Saffron Lady who is well placed to break her maiden status following some very encouraging performances of late. With Craig Grylls in the saddle, Saffron Lady lines up in the maiden event over 1600m.

“It’s taking a while for the penny to drop, she’s still very raw and green, but there is no doubt about her ability,” Ormsby said.

“Craig knows her well and she if can settle and find clear air at the top of the straight she is going to be a strong winning chance.”

The third and final runner at Matamata will be Majic El who has been known to over race in his races, while Mike and Chad have had to adopt a couple of gear changes in order to get the best from the horse. He has always shown good speed and just needs to learn to relax in the running – when it comes together for him we don’t believe he’ll be a maiden for long.

“He’s drawn well, and while he comes up against a strong field, he does have the gears to be competitive. We just hope the day is today.”

Onto Trentham and talented sprinter/miler Flavigny (pictured) will be chasing black-type in the Group 3 Anniversary Stakes over 1600m and will have the services of Mark du Plessis – the pair will be looking to make it win number three for the jockey/horse combination.

“She’s been running very well of late and deserves her place in that field.” Ormsby said.

“The wide draw wasn’t ideal, but is happy getting back and hopefully there is enough speed on for her to run off turning for home. The 53kg is also a big advantage.”

Onto Tauranga and the stable’s Karaka Million hopes rest with exciting young filly Fortaleza who lines up in the first on the card – a two-year-old event over 1200m and jockey Crag Grylls will be riding.

“She’ll have to win tomorrow, and win well, to warrant a start in the Karaka Million a week later. The few days following is important also as she has to come through the race well,” Ormsby said.

“We have high hopes for her, and she’s shown us plenty, but it’s not the end all if she doesn’t win as there are a couple of nice back up options for her.”

The inform Soul Sista steps out again following an very impressive second placing on Boxing Day and she looks tough to beat in the Rating 65 event over 1600m.

Samantha Collett takes the mount and Soul Sista be looking to maintain her strong Tauranga form from four career starts – boasting a win and two placings.

“She’s thriving in the stable and she could go anywhere and be competitive.”

“Her start can let her down, although she is getting better and if she can jump away with them tomorrow she is a big winning chance.”

The last runner on the card is the recently returned Arbitrage who will kick of his New Zealand Derby campaign in the Rating 65 event over 1600m and Craig Grylls will also take the mount on the three-year-old son of Rip Van Winkle.

“He’s had his setbacks since arriving to New Zealand, but he’s over that and is going into tomorrow in good condition,” Ormsby said.

“We’ve been happy with his progress and tomorrow is a good starting point. He will take a huge amount of improvement from tomorrow and will much better for the run. Arbitrage is an exciting Derby prospect.”

[15 Jan 16]

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