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Unbeaten two-year-old She’s A Thief will tackle her biggest challenge to date when she steps out in a red-hot line-up in Monday’s Gr. 3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

The stylish grey Showcasing filly has been successful twice going the left-handed way around at Te Rapa although co-trainer Pam Gerard believes the right-handed Ellerslie circuit won’t prove too much of a problem for her charge.

“She’s a very sensible filly who takes everything in her stride,” she said.
“She’s very tractable and has trialled right-handed before so we don’t expect her to have a problem with it.

“In saying that this is a very sharp jump in class and she is meeting some gun rivals. It will be a big test for her, but we are confident she has what it takes to be competitive against them.”

Gerard, who prepares She’s A Thief with co-trainer Mike Moroney, admits the Ellerslie assignment is all part of a learning curve for the filly as she prepares for a start in the country’s richest two-year-old race, the Listed Karaka Million (1200m).

“We had always planned to target this race as her final lead-up to the Karaka Million,” she said.

“Her last run at Te Rapa was a little bit of a contingency as she had done so well after her first win that she needed the race.

“We wanted her to get familiar with Ellerslie before she tackled the Karaka Million so this race fits in perfectly.

“It should be a great guide to her chances later on, as several of her rivals are also being set for the Karaka Million, so hopefully she can acquit herself well which we are confident she can do.”

The Ballymore Stables team also look to have a royal chance to take out another black-type feature on the day when On The Rocks tackles the Gr. 2 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas (1600m). The last-start winner of the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m) has trained on well since that victory and heads into Monday’s event as one of the race favourites.

“He has done everything right since his last win and we are expecting another good performance,” said Gerard.

“It has taken a wee while for the penny to drop for him, but he has taken a lot of confidence out of his last couple of runs.

“He is very quiet for a colt, but you can see in his demeanour around the stable that he is starting to mature and come into his own.

“He has drawn well and is pretty versatile, so I would expect to see him handy in the run and hopefully right amongst it at the business end.” - NZ Racing Desk
[31 Dec 17]


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