Embellish showed a glimpse of his talent at last week’s Te Awamutu trials, but he won’t be part of the Te Akau Racing Stables squad competing at the New Zealand Cup meeting at Riccarton next month.
Winner of the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) last November, the son of Savabeel hasn’t raced since finishing midfield in the Gr.1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March.
In the meantime he has had just two trials, the first when unplaced at Cambridge earlier this month and the other when beating Caprikosa over 1150m last Thursday.
“He looks to be back on track,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “He’s taken a bit of time this year, but Opie (Bosson) was pleased with his trial.”
A winner of three of his eight starts, Embellish holds a nomination for the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton on November 14, but won’t be taking his place in the feature.
“It’s come around a bit too soon,” Richards said. “We’ll play around with him and have him ready for Ellerslie over the Christmas-New Year period.
“He could start off in an open 1300m at Tauranga on November 3 and could be a chance for a race like the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie (January 1).”
A brother to the Group One winner Diademe and closely related to two-time Group One winner
Sacred Star, Embellish is raced by the Te Akau 2016 Breeding Syndicate along with Brendan and Jo Lindsay, the owners of Cambridge Stud.
The Lindsays bought a 50 percent interest in Embellish after his Group One win and soon afterward he finished second in the Listed Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie, splitting Scott Base and Savvy Coup.
Though Embellish will be missing from the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile, his stablemate Te Akau Shark is currently the $1.90 Fixed Odds favourite in the 1600m feature, while Sword Of Osman put his hand up for a tilt at the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) on November 10 with a narrow win in Monday’s Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.
Richards is yet to finalise the remainder of the stable’s attack on the New Zealand 2000 Guineas and the other Riccarton three-year-old feature, the Gr.1 Gavelhouse New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) a week later.
In A Twinkling, a Fastnet Rock winner of one of his three starts, will be on trial for the New Zealand 2000 Guineas when he contests the Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday, while fellow 2000 Guineas nominee Publicist followed up two placings with a maiden win at Ashburton last Saturday.
Our Flying Ace, another of the stable’s four nominees for the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, suffered his first defeat in three starts when beaten by the exciting Xpression in the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton last Saturday. Xpression is now the $2.80 Fixed Odds favourite for the 1000 Guineas.
Richards’ nominations for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas include Queen Of The Air, who scored a decisive maiden win at Waverley last start, and Spirit Of Galway, who has been placed in each of her three starts.
“Queen Of The Air will run in the Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on Saturday,” Richards said.
Another representative for the Richards stable this weekend will be Xplosion in the Listed Hanley Formula Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham on Saturday. The daughter of Showcasing ran third on debut at Tauherenikau earlier this month.
“On Saturday she will have blinkers on and that should help her,” Richards said. - NZ Racing Desk