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YOUTHFUL DUO READY FOR GROUP ONE TEST

The prospect of a step up in distance on a rain-affected track at Awapuni isn’t expected to bother stablemates She’s A Thief (pictured) and Bocce on Saturday.

The two-year-olds head into unfamiliar territory distance-wise when they shoot for Group One honours in the Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

She’s A Thief has enjoyed a rewarding first campaign with two wins and stakes placings in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m).

In between times, the daughter of Showcasing was fourth in the Karaka Million (1200m).

“She’s been terrific, a very classy filly,” Gerard said. “Originally we thought she was just a two-year-old, but she’ll be good at three as well – she’s grown and matured.”

She’s A Thief has been ridden in all but one of her starts by Jake Bayliss, who will continue his association with her at the weekend.

A winner and third in the Karaka Million, barn mate Bocce finished fourth last time out in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).

“He might have been better to push on and not give up the lead and he came back strongly the last bit,” Gerard said.

“His work has been outstanding and we have no issues with either of them on a wet track, they’ve been working on them and both of them will be fine, and I don’t think 1400m will be a worry.”

The stable also has black type chances in the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m) with Ruby Armani and Sound Works.

“It’s a huge step up for both of them, but Sound Works has been super in her last two runs and Ruby Armani is a talented mare who has had to put up with terrible draws,” Gerard said. “They deserve their chances.” – NZ Racing Desk.
 
[28 Mar 18]

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