Wet track specialist Art Deco is limbering up for her favourite time of the year.
The Taranaki five-year-old was knocking on the stakes door last preparation and trainer Allan Sharrock is confident she can go to another level in the coming months.
“She’s a good mare and she’s a lot stronger now,” he said. “I was a bit surprised she didn’t get black type last time and I’m sure she can this time.”
The winner of five races on rain-affected going, Art Deco hasn’t raced since she finished a close sixth behind Dolcetto in the Gr.3 Boehringer Metric Mile (1600m) at Awapuni in September.
“She’ll probably have a trial and I might step her out in the open sprint at New Plymouth next month,” Sharrock said.
“She’s had a couple of jump-outs and she’s coming up really well. She’s furnished into a much stronger mare now.”
Meanwhile, the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Ladies First is thriving during her time off with Sharrock already considering programme options toward the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) later this year.
“We’ll work our way back,” he said. “Before the Cup she did 9900km and the master Bart Cummings always said to do 10,000km so I wasn’t far off.
“She’ll probably end up in the Livamol Classic at Hastings in her first run over ground in the spring and we’ll move on from there.”
Sharrock has also been keeping a close watch on his stable star Kawi during the seven-time Group One winner’s time away from the stable.
“I see him quite often and he looks really good,” he said. “We’ll concentrate on a beach-style regime when he comes back and keep his joints as good as we can.” – NZ Racing Desk.