Australian-bound gallopers Bonneval and Rubira pleased co-trainer Andrew Forsman after their exhibition gallop in the heavy track conditions at Matamata on Wednesday and will head across the Tasman on Sunday in preparation for their spring campaigns.
“We are rapt with both of them,” said Forsman, who trains in partnership with Murray Baker.
“Obviously it is a very testing track out there so we weren’t out there to knock them around or anything, it was more just a day out and to give them a good blow out before they head to Melbourne.
“Bonneval, naturally she is probably the sharper of the two having been a bit more mature and stronger. Though even Lynsey (Satherley, jockey) said Rubira took a long time to pull up and we are taking her over there with staying races in-mind so both are coming up really well.”
Dual New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval is likely to kick-off her spring campaign in the Gr.2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 8, a race she won in Melbourne last spring, while Rubira will work her way towards a start in the Gr.1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) in October.
“Bonneval will resume in the Dato Saturday week all going well, provided she travels and does well enough,” Forsman said. “She should, she is pretty experienced now, that will be her first starting point, the same as last spring.”
Meanwhile, the Baker-Forsman stable could line-up three runners at Hastings on Saturday in the first Group One of the season, the Tarzino Trophy (1400m).
Forsman said Francaletta and New York Minute have taken a lot of improvement from their runs in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m), while he is pleased with Jon Snow heading into the 1400m feature fresh-up.
“Jon Snow is pretty forward, for a horse that hasn’t raced in the autumn I think he is every bit as forward as he was this time last year when he resumed in the Memsie, and he was only beaten three lengths there,” Forsman said.
While Jon Snow heads into the race a $6.50 joint third favourite with Scott Base on the TAB market, Forsman’s two other runners are less certain of a start.
“With New York Minute we have left it up to the owners really and what they want to do, so if it doesn’t get to genuine slow or heavy it is probably hard to see her being competitive off what she did in the Foxbridge the other day,” he said.
“She is very well and has worked up a treat, so it is just a matter of if the track conditions are suitable she will line-up, if not then that is something we will have to decide on Friday.
“I think Francaletta is the big improver, it was well documented she hadn’t had a trial heading into the race (Foxbridge) and she has improved lengths out of that so she is always going to be competitive in this sort of race if she gets in.”