Showcasing filly Wekaforce will head into Saturday’s Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton in good form after finishing runner-up in her two starts this campaign, including the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton last month.
The Tony Pike-trained three-year-old hasn’t raced since though, with her campaign plans disrupted when races were abandoned at Riccarton on October 6, but her trainer remains positive heading into Saturday.
“She’s really well, it was a bit unfortunate that she missed a run with the races being called off two Saturday’s ago, we elected not to run her on the Tuesday, but she has trained on really well,” Pike said.
“She ran second first-up against Melt, who is the benchmark three-year-old filly at this point in time, and her second-up run from the outside barrier was really good in the Canterbury Belle.
“She drew 17 and the winner drew one. It was really the barrier and doing a bit of work to get across from that gate that cost her the race.”
Wekaforce remains without luck when it comes to barriers, having drawn the outside gate in the eight horse field on Saturday.
“She can’t pull a barrier at all down there,” Pike said. “I think she’s drawn the outside gate in all her starts down there so far.
“The small field is going to be a bit of a help, but she’ll go forward and if she can get a relatively soft trip then she is sure to be competitive in that field.
“She’s in solid form and should be a good each-way chance on Saturday.”
All going to plan, Wekaforce will remain down south to contest her main target for the spring next month, the Gr.1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
“This will be her last run,” Pike said. “If she performs well we will probably head straight to the 1000 Guineas from Saturday’s race.” – NZ Racing Desk