Te Akau are mounting feature race assaults in two Australian states on Saturday week.
Top colt Embellish will run in Melbourne with stable rider Opie Bosson to continue his association with the Group One-winning son of Savabeel, while leading filly Melody Belle will be in action in Sydney.
“Unfortunately, they are both running on the same day so Blake Shinn has been booked to ride Melody Belle,” said Jamie Richards, who trains the pair with Stephen Autridge.
Last-start Ellerslie winner Melody Belle will step out in the Gr.2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick with the Gr.2 Surround Stakes (1400m) to follow a fortnight later.
A start in the Gr.2 Arrowfield Stud Sprint (1200m) during the Championships in April is also on the programme for last season’s Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and Karaka Million (1200m) winner.
“She’s bounced through her Ellerslie win really well and it’s a nice series of races for her in Sydney,” Richards said.
The Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Embellish will make his Australian debut in the Gr.3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
“That will be his lead-up to the Australian Guineas a fortnight later,” Richards said.
“We’re really pleased with him and everything is going right.”
Embellish was narrowly beaten by Scott Base last time out in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic at Ellerslie.
“He might have got to the front a bit too soon and lost a bit of interest, but he was beaten by a pretty good horse,” Richards said.
Meanwhile, the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner Age Of Fire won’t run in this Saturday’s Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).
“He’s on the easy list after we got held up and we’ve yet to work out where he’ll be going,” Richards said.
Age Of Fire suffered a set-back following his Trentham victory when he got cast in his box and knocked a tendon. – NZ Racing Desk.