New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas contender Maritimo issued an ominous warning to her three-year-old rivals with an authoritative performance to down the older gallopers at Riccarton on the weekend.
It was the first start for the three-year-old daughter of Pins since her somewhat controversial late scratching at the barrier prior to the Listed Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie last month. That circumstance necessitated a return to the trials at Te Aroha to satisfy stewards of her barrier manners and was the catalyst for taking on the rating 75 gallopers on Saturday.
“I don’t think she got a fair go at Ellerslie when she was scratched so we were forced to go to the trials three days later to show she wasn’t a barrier rogue,” explained co-trainer Debbie Rogerson.
“It also meant we missed a crucial lead-up run to the 1000 Guineas so we had to work out a Plan B where the only real option was to run her on the first day at Riccarton against the older horses.
“That’s a big ask for any three-year-old filly but as it turned out she did it nicely and has pulled up beautifully which is what we had hoped for.”
Handled superbly by Central Districts hoop Johnathon Parkes, who was recording his fourth win on the day, Maritimo was somewhat sluggish from the gates but showed dash to snatch a beautiful run behind the leaders in the early stages of the contest. Angled into a challenging position approaching the home straight, the filly dashed to the front and held out all challenges by a neat length at the winning post.
“She showed plenty of determination to hold them out so we can go forward to the Guineas with a degree of confidence,” noted Rogerson.
“She bounced through the race well and having had a good look at the track it will also help her next weekend.”
Rogerson also reported stablemate Serena Miss would take her place in the 1000 Guineas after finishing a gallant third behind the super impressive Xtravagant in the Gr. 1 Sothys 2000 Guineas on Saturday.
“She went a terrific race although she had no chance with the winner given the sectionals they ran,” she said.
“She was running on very strongly and appears to have taken no harm so she will line-up on Saturday as well.” - NZ Racing Desk
Photo by Race Images South