Shooting for the top with capable mare
The lure of reward at racing’s highest level will see late nomination Promise To Reign tackle Saturday’s Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).
The Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned five-year-old was withdrawn from the open handicap at Te Rapa on Waitangi Day in favour of the feature weight-for-age event on the second day of the Waikato meeting.
"Obviously, the handicap was a much easier race but for a mare like her Group One performance is extremely important,” said Moira Murdoch, who trains with her daughter Kieran.
Promise To Reign’s record of one win from 22 appearances doesn’t accurately reflect her talent.
As a three-year-old, she was runner-up in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m) and the Gr.2 Sunline Vase (2100m) and last season she was third in the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes (2100m).
Promise To Reign has added further black type this term with Group Three placings in the Waikato Cup (2400m) and the Counties Cup (2100m).
She was out of the money at her most recent start on New Year’s Day in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) after being caught three wide without cover.
"She’s in good shape and she goes well fresh,” Murdoch said.
Meanwhile, stablemate Sacred Rhythm is also in fine touch having won her last two starts and four from eight overall.
"She’s a lovely mare and very lightly-raced,” Murdoch said. "She’s got average feet and the owners (Raffles Racing) have been very patient. She’s a very competitive horse.”
The Pentire mare will shortly be tested at black type level.
"There’s a couple of options, the Kaimai Stakes or the Awapuni Gold Cup,” Murdoch said. – NZ Racing Desk.