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Bullish Boxing Day Runners

2014 Group 2 Wellington Cup winner, Graphic (pictured), will head a strong team of runners at Ellerslie this Friday as he contests a highly competitive field in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic over 2000m.

Graphic completed a gallop between races at Te Rapa last Saturday which has appeared to bring him on nicely for the Boxing Day feature event.

“He’s well in himself and he’s fit. It is a rather strong field, as this race always is, although at his best he can measure up to these runners,” co-trainer Chad Ormsby said.

Graphic currently operates at a 50% winning strike rate having won five races from 10 career starts, while Friday’s event will be his debut in Group 1 company.

Australian returnee, Spitfire Lady, will be contesting the Listed Newmarket Handicap over 1200m and while her recent race record isn’t flattering, at her best she is extremely capable of taking a race out of this stature.

“Nothing went her way last start at Te Rapa, and the race wasn’t run to suit, but it was good to get that one under her belt and she will improve from that.”

A stakes placed performer herself locally and abroad, Spitfire Lady will be jumping from barrier two which will greatly assist her chances for the sprinting feature.

Massale will again look to continue is strong run of form of late as he looks to tackle the three-year-old event in race four on the card.

Massale is also nominated for Ellerslie on Sunday, and if he draws a kinder gate, there is a chance he will head there.

“He’s going good races and he’s shown he is up there with some of the smarter three-year-old’s around.” said Ormsby.

“Barrier 14 is not ideal in that quality of field, so we could look to Ellerslie a couple of days later.”

Unknown Pleasures will be making her race return since winning stylishly at Ruakaka back in July and a pleasing trial last week has given the team good indication the mare is heading in the right direction.

“We think she’s pretty smart this mare and she looks superb this time in,” Ormsby said.

The four-year-old daughter by Edenwold has won two races from seven career starts and jockey Mark du Plessis has been allocated for riding duties.

Another lightly tried galloper in Estelle will also be making a return after producing two very dominant victories last preparation before heading to the spelling paddock.

“We are happy with how she has come along this time in, but she has drawn in the car park so we’ll have to see how many come out in the next couple of days.”
[24 Dec 14]

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