Tinkalicious winning at Hawera. Photo: Race Images
New Plymouth trainer Janelle Millar has crossed the Cook Strait for the first time in a bid to snare some stakes spoils on the second day of the New Zealand Cup Carnival at Riccarton on Wednesday.
Millar will line-up Group Three performer Tinkalicious in the Gr.3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) and she is optimistic with the daughter of Nadeem after her last-start runner-up performance behind Shadows Cast at Awapuni.
“I thought it was a great run in the Red Craze Bowl (1400m) considering she was drawn out and was three-deep the whole way,” Millar said.
“She got beaten by a Group One horse, so she didn’t disgrace herself that’s for sure.”
Tinkalicious was victorious in her previous run at Hawera last month and Millar has been pleased with her progress this preparation.
“She is only getting better. She is a six-year-old mare now so we are chasing a black-type win with her,” she said.
With a lack of suitable targets in the North Island, Millar elected to campaign in the South Island for the first time in her 15-year training career.
“There was nothing really around in the North Island, so I thought I would aim her for this race and then we will put her out for three weeks and bring her back for the Wellington Cup Carnival in January,” Millar said.
“The trip took quite a lot out of her, but she has bounced back to her normal self now. We left on Friday, so we have been down here a few days.
“I rode her this (Tuesday) morning and she pulled like a steam train. She is drinking and eating really well and so the weight she did lose over the trip she has put back on, so I will be happy with the way she goes out there.”
The six-year-old mare has drawn the outside gate in the 17 horse field and while Millar isn’t thrilled with the draw, she said Tinkalicious’ familiarity with wide gates should assist her.
“I am really gutted about that, she hasn’t had much luck with draws. Over the times with her bad draws she has learnt to bounce out of the gates quickly and Rosie (Myers, jockey) knows her really well, so as long as she bounces out of the gates like she did last time, I don’t think it is going to be a problem.”
Tinkalicious has been installed as a $6 third-favourite by TAB bookmakers behind Kiwi Ida at $3.50 and Emily Margaret at $5.50.
Millar has also taken four-year-old mare Showmethebubbles down to Riccarton as a travel companion for her stablemate and she will attempt to clear maidens in the Fasttrack Insurance $5K Stake Top Up (1600m).