Brosnan changes course for Nicole Amy
Mark Brosnan has switched targets for Nicole Amy for Saturday's Waikato Times Gold meeting at Te Rapa.
The Matamata trainer had originally planned to have the last-start Counties Cup-placed Nicole Amy in the staying feature but he was forced to ease up on the Le Bec Fin seven-year-old mare after that run on a firm Pukekohe track took its toll on her.
So instead of tackling the Gr III Waikato Cup (2400m), Nicole Amy will now contest the Gr II $85,000 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares.
''I did consider the Cup but I just didn't think I'd done the work to get her up to the mile and a half [2400m],'' Brosnan said yesterday.
''She just jarred up a bit on the hard track at Pukekohe and we decided to back off her and bring her back to the mile [1600m]. She's freshened up nicely and she's done reasonably well but in that field, I'd say she's only a place chance looking at the top two.''
Gr I winners Shez Sinsational and Guiseppina head the 14 entries taken yesterday for the weight-for-age Cal Isuzu Stakes, with other contenders including last-start Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes runner-up Miss Pelear, Floria, O'Fille, last-start winners Diademe and Princess Kyoto and Canterbury three-year-old Emerald Queen.
Shez Sinsational and Floria, second and fourth respectively behind Lady Kipling last year, are the only two to return this year.
Brosnan said Nicole Amy had trained well at Matamata yesterday and was showing no signs of any issues with her legs going into the Cal Isuzu Stakes.
''The wetter weather has helped a bit - we'd like some more rain this week but that doesn't look like it's going to happen,'' he said.
''She'll probably only have one more race after this, then she'd go out for a spell.''
Nicole Amy is the only one of the first seven horses home in the Counties Cup not among the entries for the Waikato Cup.
There were 14 entries for the staying feature, headed by Counties Cup winner Jeu de Cartes and the horses she led home - Arcenciel, Annie Higgins, Fiorano, Savvy Dancer, Boninsky and Dolmabache.
Tempelten was unplaced behind Gr II Rich Hill Mile-bound Carrick at yesterday's Cambridge trials five days out from the Waikato Cup.
The Listed $50,000 Shaw's Wire Ropes Sprint (1400m) attracted 19 entries, including Gr I winners Shootoff and Sangster, along with the likes of Runs Like Al, Fazzle, Single Currency, Full Of Spirit, Shandream, Kekova, McLaren, last-start Ellerslie winner Spin Doctor and Gunsmoke.
The Jason Bridgman-trained Catalonia headlines the field for the Listed $50,000 Wentwood Grange Stakes (1100m) for two-year-olds.
Bridgman yesterday said Catalonia had worked well at Matamata yesterday and was going into Saturday's race in better condition than he did when he was second to star filly Bounding at Ellerslie on debut in October.
''I've got every confidence in the horse. He's going well and I'd expect him to be hard to beat on Saturday,'' Bridgman said.
Bridgman also has Gunsmoke in the open sprint and was upbeat about the last-start Whanganui winner's chances.
''He's got a good course and distance record at Te Rapa, he worked up well this morning and at the weights he'll give it a good shake.''
Bridgman will round out his stakes runners this weekend with former southerner No Nonsense in the Listed Championship Stakes Prelude at Ellerslie on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Bridgman-trained Gr I Diamond Stakes winner Warhorse has headed to Sydney to continue his career.
Bridgman said he understood the General Nediym three-year-old colt, whose last start resulted in a Gr I 2000 Guineas third placing, would join Sydney trainer Chris Waller for ''three or four starts before he goes to Singapore''.
Te Awamutu trainers Keith and Brendon Hawtin have also farewelled Gr I Diamond Stakes-placed filly Silk Pins, who will also join Waller.
Raced by Sydney's Max Whitby, Silk Pins won a trial at Te Aroha last month but was deemed to be better placed in Sydney for her upcoming campaign.
The Hawtins will produce Miss Pelear in Saturday's Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa, again expectant of a bold showing.
''We did her bloods yesterday and they've come back 100 per cent so everything's spot on for Saturday,'' Brendon Hawtin said.
Awapuni's Gr III Eulogy Stakes yesterday attracted 15 entries for what looks a high-calibre three-year-old fillies contest.
Among the leading chances are Soriano, Misstrum, Rays Girl, Lovetessa, High Fashion, Angel's Share and Emerald Queen.