Dundeel Mare Chasing First G1

Media Release - Thursday December 21

Gifted performer Aquacade has bounced back from a last-start hiccup and is on target to execute a long-term plan when she steps out at Pukekohe Park on Boxing Day.

Aquacade will contest the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2050m) on Boxing Day.  Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Lance Noble will be chasing a special victory with the five-year-old in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2050m), sponsored by the mare’s breeders and owners Cambridge Stud.

Noble is the private trainer for farm principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay and the weight-for-age feature has been a long-term target for the daughter of Dundeel.

Two runs back, Aquacade was a dominant winner of the Gr.3 Balmerino Stakes (2050m) before she was a beaten favourite when fourth in the Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m), after which the reason for her below par showing became evident.

“It wasn’t a bad run with topweight (59kg), but it was just a bit flat for her so we got her vetted out the next day,” Noble said.

“We scoped her and she had a bit of mucus in her lungs and a viral thing going on so we treated that and she seems back to her best.


“I hate excuses, but there was a legitimate one and she’s bounced back and her work has been great.

“Since the beginning of the season, we have aimed her at this Group One. She’s won a Group Two and a Group Three and we’re a breeding farm so this is so important.”

Aquacade is one of five strong Boxing Day chances for Noble, with the team to be partnered by Vinnie Colgan after the suspension of regular rider and Jockeys’ Premiership leader Warren Kennedy.

“I feel for Warren because he has put a lot of work into these horses,” Noble said.

“We’re very fortunate to get someone of Vinnie’s ability to ride them all, he is in great form and he’s got the big race temperament and he’ll do a great job for us.

“Vinnie came out and rode work here on Tuesday with Warren, who gave him a few insights into the horse and that was great.”

Talented Embellish filly Luberon will run in the Gr.2 Shaw’s Wire Ropes Auckland Guineas (1400m) off the back her fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

“She went a pretty bold race considering she was three wide for a lot of it and probably just didn’t stay the mile with the run she had,” Noble said.

“She’s dropping back to 1400m, which might be her best distance at this stage, but it is a super strong race, they all are as you would expect on one of these days.

“Unfortunately, she has drawn the outside (12) which won’t make it easy, but she is very well and we’ve been happy with her work.”

Fellow three-year-old About Time will face the toughest test of her brief career when the daughter of American Pharoah runs in the Gr.2 Hallmark Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m).

“She’s an interesting runner and very lightly raced. She ran into a good one (About A Girl) when third at her first start and then her win was super,” Noble said.

“I thought her run in the Listed race (Eagle Memorial, 1500m) for third was again very good and it was her first time racing that way around. She got a little bit lost up the straight and hit the line well.”

Flamebird was a most recent course and distance winner and will attack the Barfoot & Thompson Handicap (1400m) from the minimum (54kg).

“It’s her first time in open company and has a light weight and her record at Pukekohe is strong, as was her last start win, and she looks nicely placed,” Noble said.

Pierro mare Dazzled has recent wins on the course and at Tauranga to back her claims in the Majestic Horse Floats Handicap (1200m).

“If Dazzled can replicate her form from her last three starts, and I don’t see any reason why she can’t, she’s got to be a good chance,” Noble said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk


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